Disability

  • ​3D-printing has been used to great effect in the development of prosthetic aids, patient-tailored​​ medical devices and body parts. Now, Eliza Wrobel has used additive manufacturing to make the humble walker even more useful for those suffering from limb disabilities who want to stay active.
  • While the act of picking up an object is something most of us take for granted, for prostheses users, it can be an exercise in frustration. Could a new robotic arm that detects motor neuron signals nudge researchers closer to creating an artificial limb that resembles the real thing?​​
  • Your average family home isn't very easy for a disabled person to get around. With this in mind, Wheel Pad has designed an eponymous tiny house that provides a wheelchair-friendly bedroom and bathroom on wheels suitable for use as an annex or accessory dwelling unit.
  • Forget brain surgery, complicated training programs and insurance legalese. Robotics startup Aubot has skipped past all these complications to launch the world’s first commercially available mind-controlled telepresence robot.
  • On the basis that many hotel rooms for the disabled aren't that accessible, can be poorly fitted and have overly clinical designs, two firms have collaborated to create a new hotel room concept. AllGo is an approach aimed at creating accessible ​rooms that are functional, flexible and beautiful.
  • Aimed at those suffering from afflictions like cerebral palsy and Huntington's disease​, the Liftware Level is a motorized utensil that flexes to compensate for a user's restricted movement so as to keep the utensil head level.
  • ​Make way autonomous cars, because now there are autonomous scooters. A team from MIT has developed a self-driving mobility scooter using algorithms that not only allow users to sit back and enjoy the ride, but could be applied across a spectrum of different vehicles.
  • A new wheelchair has been designed to make life easier for individuals living with disabilities in developing regions. The SafariSeat, from London-based Uji, is aimed at being affordable, easy to repair with inexpensive parts, and able to be manufactured and repaired locally.
  • ​​​It was in 2010 that we first heard about a set of ergonomic wheelchair wheels that let users move their chairs forward by pulling back on the handrims. Six years later, the technology has moved from prototype to product, with the Rowheels REV-LX wheelset recently hitting the market.​
  • Robotic cooking aids are gaining traction in the modern kitchen, but the team behind Obi has a goal more noble than just cooking up a gourmet storm. This little robot arm is designed to empower people afflicted with physical disabilities, giving them back the dignity of feeding themselves.
  • The LUKE arm, which was previously known as the Deka Arm, was developed under DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program by DEKA Research & Development Corp. It received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 and is now set to hit the market later this year.
  • ​​When Gyorgy (George) Levay lost both hands to a meningitis infection, many people might have assumed that his gaming days were over. That's not the case, however. Working with two other grad students, he's developed a system that lets upper-body amputees control games using their feet.