During the first week at MSOE it was interesting to see how several of the non-CCEFP REU projects were either directly or indirectly related to fluid power. In addition to the two CCEFP projects there is a fluid powered wheelchair attachment and two brain aneurysm projects.
The brain aneurysm projects may not be directly related to fluid power, but aneurysms themselves are more or less defects in our internal fluid circuit. It takes a slightly different perspective to look at the heart as a pump and veins and arteries as "hoses" in a fluid circuit, but on top of that the safety concerns suddenly reverse. For a standard hydraulic or pneumatic circuit the primary safety concern is for the person working on the system and precautions need to be taken in order to avoid whipping or high pressure leaks. When doctors work on an aneurysm, the primary concern is for the fluid circuit, and the person housing it, and not so much the doctors. The doctors generally have the protective gear that they need, but the "defective fluid circuit" in the patient can be life threatening to the patient. In short, it is important to recognize that even though systems may have parallels, there are factors that may effect best practice in handling a specific system.