Thursday, August 13, 2020

Tag: Assistive Technology

Art as an outlet: Montag, who has been a quadriplegic for 40 years, is...

Published: March 9, 2019 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Jeff Montag’s fingers can’t hold a paintbrush, but that doesn’t stop him from painting portraits, flowers, flamenco dancers, ornery bulls, airplanes, Sioux warriors and Kearney landmarks.

A quadriplegic for 40 years, Montag creates art in his spare time with a specially designed cuff he fastens onto his right hand.

Last week, maneuvering his wheelchair, he guided a visitor through his kitchen and attached garage into his cozy studio cluttered with paintbrushes and tubes of paint. He wheeled up to the easel, slid his hand into his cuff and began to dab bits of bright color on an unfinished painting.

These Modular, AI Wheelchairs Can Watch for Obstacles Ahead

Published: February 6, 2019

Wheelchairs can’t yet be summoned via voice commands or connect with other wheelchairs to issues warnings about what’s ahead. Dr. Konstantinos Sirlantzis wants to change that.

Electric wheelchairs offer independence to those with mobility issues, but there are still limitations. They can’t yet be summoned via voice commands or connect with other wheelchairs to warn each other about obstacles ahead. Or can they?

Dr. Konstantinos Sirlantzis, Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Systems at the University of Kent, envisions a smart wheelchair future enabled by robotic plug-ins and add-ons.

Hoobox launches first wheelchair controlled by facial expressions

Published: January 15, 2019 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Brazilian start-up Hoobox Robotics has collaborated with Intel to produce an adapter kit that allows almost any electric wheelchair to be controlled by the user’s facial expressions.

The Wheelie 7 kit equips a wheelchair with artificial intelligence to detect the user’s expressions and process the data in real-time to direct the movement of the chair.

Smiling, raising the eyebrows, wrinkling the nose or puckering the lips as if for a kiss are among the repertoire of 10 gestures recognised by the prototype Wheelie 7.

Voice-operated Camera for Journalist in Need

Published: December 23, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

This journalist needed a voice-operated camera, but there was ‘nothing’ on the market. So he made her one

As a trapeze performer, Carolyn Pioro made flying and flipping through the air look easy. Movement, she once said, was her life.

That changed forever in September 2005. Pioro was training for a performance with a Toronto-based circus when a mid-air flip went terribly wrong. She fell 40 feet, landed badly in the safety net and severed her spinal cord.

Paralyzed People Control the Robot Waiters at a Japanese Cafe

Published: December 12, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

In a win-win outcome for patients with spinal cord injuries and Japanese startup tech company Ory Lab, robotic waiters are working full shifts, allowing spinal cord injury sufferers to work by proxy.

Technological innovations, whether nano-sized or full-scale, have been offering a range of surprising capabilities that offer improvements in quality of life or life expectancy.

In fewer areas, the impact has been more dramatic than with people suffering from various spinal cord injuries.

Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller ranked one of the top inventions of 2018

Published: November 16, 2018

Microsoft’s Xbox division scores another high mark, but not for acquiring another studio or adding another game deal to its holiday season shopping list this year, rather for its recently released Xbox Adaptive Controller.

According to Time Magazine, Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is amongst the magazines fifty Best Inventions of 2018.

For people with limited hand and arm mobility, it can be tough to play video games, which are generally controlled using small buttons and joysticks.

Quadriplegics can hunt again with Be Adaptive Equipment

Published: November 5, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Be Adaptive manufactures adaptive shooting equipment for all physical disabilities. Whether you just need help pulling the trigger or if you are a high quad with no hand or arm movement, Be Adaptive has you covered with a specially designed piece of equipment to meet your needs!

An Italian Researcher Develops a low-cost Robotic Glove to “lend a hand” to People...

Published: October 9, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury: , , , ,

The majority of people who suffer the partial or total loss of the hand’s motor skills report a drastic reduction in the quality of life due to the consequent inability to carry out many activities of daily life. Performing tasks often taken for granted, such as buttoning a shirt, using the phone, or grasping utensils for cooking or eating becomes frustrating or almost impossible due to reduced grip strength and poor motor control of the hand that afflicts these people.

A research team from Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, coordinated by Prof. Conor Walsh and led by Dr. Leonardo Cappello, has recently developed a wearable robotic system with the purpose of helping these people.

Use your voice to access the world with a new Android app

Published: October 2, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury:

Everyone can benefit from hands-free support when using technology, but for the 62 million people in the U.S. with motor and mobility impairments, it can be a vital requirement. For Stefanie Putnam, a quadriplegic and a para-equestrian driver, tasks like taking photos, sending texts and composing emails could be daunting.

Stefanie was one of several people the Google Accessibility team worked with to test early prototypes of a feature which allowed people to control their Android device using voice-only commands. Her feedback—and that of other testers—was instructional in shaping a new product we’ve just released called Voice Access.

Disabled people concerned about plastic straw ban

Published: September 22, 2018 | Spinal Cord Injury:

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Banning plastic straws will affect people with physical disabilities as reusable alternatives are not safe for them, a spinal cord injury association has said.

The Malaysian Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy Association said plastic straws were an accessible tool for some people with physical disabilities — like those with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, or hand amputations — to drink or consume liquids like soup.