Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday is a regular one I get to share, and it is always one of my favorites.

Once again, students in a University of Colorado Engineering class taught by Professor Melinda Picket-May have collaborated with Imagine! to provide assistive technology for individuals we serve. We’ve been doing this for more than seven years. Each semester, students form small groups and select projects that have been identified by Imagine! staff members as something that will meet the needs of a specific individual served by Imagine!. The collaboration has truly been “win-win.” The students get real, hands-on experience on a unique and challenging engineering task, and people served by Imagine! get a piece of adaptive equipment designed specifically for their needs.

Below are some projects from Spring Semester 2017 students:

Wrist Stabilizer

This was designed for an individual served by Imagine! who struggles with tremors, making using devices that require fine motor skills a challenge. With the stabilizer, the individual will now be able to use an iPad with ease.

Bluetooth Switch

This was also a design for an individual who needs assistance with mastering fine motor skills. This Bluetooth switch was designed specifically for one individual served by Imagine!, and was created to react to the way her body moves naturally, so she could access an iPad.

Wago Opener

Wago products are designed for electronic interfaces. Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department provides staffing for GE Lighting, which uses these Wago products. The device created by the student allows one of the employees who has limited range of motion in his arms to effectively and efficiently open the Wagos at GE, making him a more productive employee.

Sensory Vest

This sensory vest was designed for two individuals served by Imagine! who are non-verbal so that they can be put in control of their own interactive environment. 

Reprogrammable Voice Remote

Individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities may find it challenging to control certain aspects of their environment – say, opening and closing window blinds or turning on and off a room humidifier. New products like the Amazon Echo or Alexa can open doors for verbal commands to operate those tasks. However, there is still a gap for individuals who are non-verbal as these devices may not be able to “understand” the commands. This project “teaches” the devices to understand non-verbal commands (like grunts) so even no-verbal individuals can take advantage of the amazing opportunities these devices bring.

And here’s a couple of bonus student projects, not for people served by Imagine! but still very cool:

Line Laser for People with Parkinson’s Disease 

3D Sunglasses for People with Dry Eyes

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