Chicago Flyhouse Blog

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Ability Lab: Part Two

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 27, 2017 9:48:14 AM

When Flyhouse envisioned a system for the new Ability Lab, we had a distinctive train of thought. We know it might frighten you to be inside our head, but let us walk you through it.

The aesthetics of a room is important. It can create an open and bright environment on the path to recovery or it can create a sterile hospital feel. We knew we had to keep in mind that the beautiful two-story glass view of the lake from the 19th floor should not be compromised by installing a fully exposed system but at the same time, it should safely protect a patient from any fall on the grand staircase. Hide the motors from sight and make sure all components are quiet when operating. The system should also be simple enough to fully train the therapist in control of it in less than two hours. Above all, the patient should have little to no distractions which will allow them to focus solely on their recovery.

In the summer of 2016, Flyhouse created a mock up within our shop to ensure it worked the way we wanted it to within the restrictions presented at the hospital. The three-month mock-up included an entire functioning system that closely mimicked the size of the stairs and facility dimensions in which we had to work.

(Pre-Installation at Flyhouse Shop)

While the shop built stairs and installed the necessary components to test the system, the electrical shop began the development of a simplified software to allow for ease of use once completed. In each step of the process, Flyhouse had the patient and therapist in mind.

So what’s within this simplified system?

A custom console located near the bottom of the coordinated system’s steps and an ergonomically designed handheld wireless controller which controls the coordinated system with both operating simultaneously. The console shows the system use in real time including the patient's path, speed, the amount of load for each axis point and the max load. This is also the area where if something happens within the system, both the console and the controller would notify the user. If for any reason the system needs to be stopped immediately, the console and controller have E-Stops which can be engaged.

The simplified software eliminates the need for advanced training by making the system intuitive to the operator.

“The key for Flyhouse was to create a system that looked beautiful in the room, functioned well, intuitive to operate, and didn’t interfere with the goal of rehabbing the patient,” Witteveen said.

In September 2016, Executives and Physical Therapists from the Ability Lab came to Flyhouse for a first-hand look at the system in action. Not only did we demonstrate the system, we got a physical therapist in a harness and had them walk the entire path of the system while another used the controller to recreate scenarios commonly seen in their day-to-day work.

Topics: Performer Flying, Hoist, Flyhouse Projects

Hoist School 2017

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 22, 2017 1:55:04 PM

This week we have the honor of having two Flyhouse team members as instructors at the 32nd Annual Columbus McKinnon Hoist School hosted by Mountain Productions in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. We are following their days on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Check back later next week for a recap of their week. To learn more about Hoist School, look at some fast facts of its history!

Topics: Flyhouse History, News, Flyhouse Projects

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Ability Lab: Part One

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 14, 2017 9:36:05 AM

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is a world-renowned medical center that specializes in the treatment of patients with debilitating issues through a model of integrated research, education and care. Each year, thousands of patients seek assistance from RIC to strengthen a part of their life and become whole again.

The previous location of RIC proved challenging in the center’s drive to provide more specialized care to accelerate the recovery process of its patients.

A decision was made to build a state-of-the-art center integrating the latest advancements in technology combined with the ability to conduct research all under the same roof. The building is 480 feet tall and provides 1.2 million square feet of floor space, including 800,000 square feet dedicated to clinical/research programs – nearly three times the current research space. The overall hospital is designed around five innovation centers and five differentiated labs including:

  • Think + Speak: "Speech & Cognition"
  • Arm + Hand: "Fine Motor"
  • Legs + Walking: "Gait & Locomotion"
  • Strength + Endurance: "Total Body"

RIC exterior

Within the new building, pioneering technologies are front and center.

In the Strength and Endurance Lab, patients are regaining their ability to walk by strengthening core muscles within the body. What if a system could be created where a patient could safely move around the room and climb stairs knowing they are secure the entire time while a physical therapist controls all of it using handheld wireless controller?

Chicago Flyhouse came into this project originally as a pro-bono consultant to examine existing challenges within the proposed solution already given to RIC and provide suggestions on creating an aesthetically pleasing product. It became apparent the look and overall solution would impugn on the aesthetics of the venue.

“The amount of structure to support it [first proposed solution] on the staircase would have made it feel mechanical which was not the overall goal,” said Mark Witteveen, founder of Chicago Flyhouse. “The goal was to not make it look like a machine and they [RIC] felt it wouldn’t be true to the environment they were trying to create.”

After a few months of consulting, RIC asked Flyhouse this question: If you were to create your own solution from scratch, what would it be?

Flyhouse's solution will now become the first of its kind in any hospital setting in the United States.

 

Topics: Performer Flying, Project Recaps, Flyhouse Projects

Flyhouse Rigging Fact - Batten Loading for Uniform Loads

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 7, 2017 9:25:27 AM

Topics: Rigging Facts, Theatrical Rigging

Chesapeake Arena Project Recap

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 3, 2017 11:00:00 AM

After breaking ground at the turn of the century, Chesapeake Energy Arena opened its doors to the public in 2002.

The 586,000-square foot arena is currently home to the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder and hosts numerous events throughout the year including concerts and other sporting events like NCAA Basketball.

The Chesapeake Energy Arena has received a reputation as being one of the loudest arenas in the NBA due to their fan base and rise as an NBA powerhouse by reaching the finals vs. the Miami Heat in 2012. The first game of this match-up created an arena where fans created a noise level of 109 decibels or the equivalent of a live rock music concert.

When your fans can get that loud (and probably even louder), you want to make sure the sound quality in your arena is perfect.

Chicago Flyhouse installed nearly 88,000 square feet of an acoustical baffle system on the ceiling of the arena that is made up of 2,100 tons of steel. The CMA Acoustical Baffles used for the project were 2” thick with a 1.5# density. Flyhouse custom-engineered brackets were fabricated in the shop to connect the baffles to the ceiling trusses and beams.

Chesapeake Acoustic Baffle Install

Routinely acoustical baffling panels are fully assembled, and shipped directly to an installation location, this project required panels to be assembled on-site due to the panels overall size not being standard.

The perimeter of the bowl also required vertical acoustic panels to be installed. The 9,600 square feet of these panels were installed edge-to-edge with the bottom edge of the panels being retained at the wall with perforated angle iron.

The installation of both sets of panels required the use of a 135’ and 150’ boom lift to reach the areas where the panels would hang. There were a few areas in which the lifts were unable to access requiring a custom-built Flyhouse temporary access solution to be used in reaching areas where the lift couldn’t.

With no unexpected delays throughout the project, Flyhouse worked around previously scheduled events to complete the installation by the deadline so fans could continue to enjoy the arena.

Topics: Arenas, Project Recaps, Acoustical Baffles, Flyhouse Projects