7 Tech Breakthroughs That Empower People With DisabilitiesBy Shaver, Kelli; Mashable,
Publication Date: October 5, 2011
Article features 7 high-tech assistive devices designed to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities. The description of five of the devices includes a short video demonstrating its use. (1) The DynaVox EyeMax System (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfvA1r5yDLc&feature=player_embedded) is used with the Vmax+ augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to give individuals with paralysis, cerebral palsy, and stroke the ability to participate in spoken communication using their eyes. Its eye tracking system allows interacting with an on-screen keyboard to enter words that are translated into spoken text via a text-to-speech mechanism. (2) The Kapten PLUS personal navigation device (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfvA1r5yDLc&feature=player_embedded) is a very small GPS locator which speaks direction and location as the blind user walks down the street and can plan and store routes and tag locations for later reference. (3) A car designed for blind drivers. (3) A car designed for blind drivers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O2OQxHNVLNY) uses several computer systems, sensors, and cameras to observe the environment around the vehicle and provide alternate forms of sensory input, including sound and vibration transmitted to headphones, the driver seat, and gloves worn by the driver. (3) A driverless car (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp9KBrH8H04&feature=player_embedded), designed by engineers at Google, operates on a combination of information from Google Street View, artificial intelligence surrounding information gathered by numerous sensors, and cameras mounted on the vehicle to drive itself. (5) The DEKA Robotic Arm (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp9KBrH8H04&feature=player_embedded), developed by researchers led by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, is a lightweight prosthetic arm with customizable controls that enable its wearer to perform very precise tasks such as peeling a grape; it also features a sensory feedback system. (6) A technically sophisticated hearing instrument, the cochlear implant(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R0_mLumx-6Y) picks up sound via a microphone, which carries the signal to a small computer worn behind the ear, where it is transferred to a digital signal and transmitted to the implant itself, which in turn directly stimulates the auditory nerve. (7) The iBot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmNpP2fr57A&feature=player_embedded), also an invention by Dean Kamen, is a self balancing, stair climbing wheelchair using technology similar to that of the Segway.
Assistive Products Discussed: IBOT MOBILITY SYSTEM
Published by: Mashable, Inc. (Website:http://mashable.com/)
Link to text: http://mashable.com/2011/10/05/tech-disabled/