Post Tagged with: "disability"

3D Printed Exoskeleton Give A Little Girl Use Of Her Limbs

3D Printed Exoskeleton Give A Little Girl Use Of Her Limbs

3D printed exoskeletin

Instead of going off the shelf, doctors turned to a 3D printer from Stratasys to create custom molded parts and a lightweight vest for Emma. The result: the two-year-old who once could not lift her arms is now able to play, color and feed herself. Printing the parts also solves another major issue — Emma is growing… quickly. The adorable tot has already outgrown her first vest, but her mother just calls the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and has a new one made. The same goes for replacement parts. Should a hinge or brace break, it need only be a matter of hours (not days or weeks) before a new one is delivered.

Engadget: 3D printed ‘Magic Arms’ give a little girl use of her limbs

It reminds me of this DIY project for building prosthetic fingers

September 27, 2012 0 comments
The World’s First Bionic Eye

The World’s First Bionic Eye

The Register reports:

Australian researchers have claimed a world’s first by successfully implanting a ‘pre-bionic eye’ in a blind patient.

Ms Dianne Ashworth is the patient in question, and suffers retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that has left her with profound vision loss. [...]

Ashworth has said, in a canned statement, that when researchers stimulated her implant didn’t know what to expect, but:

“… all of a sudden, I could see a little flash … it was amazing. Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye.”

The device has not given Ashworth sight but her experiences will allow the BVA team, a consortium of researchers from several Australian institutions, the chance to learn how to work their prostheses to achieve useful results.

Full Story: The Register: ‘Pre-bionic’ eye implanted in blind patient

September 10, 2012 Comments are Disabled
Samsung Releases Source Code for Eye Controlled Mouse Pointer

Samsung Releases Source Code for Eye Controlled Mouse Pointer

The Verge on the eyeWriter inspired EyeCan from Samsung:

While controlling a mouse pointer with your eye isn’t brand-new technology, Samsung’s taking steps to get it in the hands of as many people as possible by open-sourcing its eyeCan technology. EyeCan was developed by five members of Samsung’s Creativity Lab, and was built with the purpose of helping those who are paralyzed from a disease like ALS control a computer through eye tracking. They’ve been testing it and posting videos of it in use on YouTube over the last few months (not surprisingly, one of those videos showed off a game of Angry Birds) and now the team is ready to release the software and documentation behind it for anyone to develop their own solution.

The Verge: Samsung releases source code for eyeCan, an eye-controlled mouse for the disabled

See also:

A Brain–Computer Interface Allows Paralyzed Patients to Play Music with Brainpower Alone

February 23, 2012 0 comments
A Brain–Computer Interface Allows Paralyzed Patients to Play Music with Brainpower Alone

A Brain–Computer Interface Allows Paralyzed Patients to Play Music with Brainpower Alone

brain computer interface for music

A pianist plays a series of notes, and the woman echoes them on a computerized music system. The woman then goes on to play a simple improvised melody over a looped backing track. It doesn’t sound like much of a musical challenge — except that the woman is paralysed after a stroke, and can make only eye, facial and slight head movements. She is making the music purely by thinking.

This is a trial of a computer-music system that interacts directly with the user’s brain, by picking up the tiny electrical impulses of neurons. The device, developed by composer and computer-music specialist Eduardo Miranda of the University of Plymouth, UK, working with computer scientists at the University of Essex, should eventually help people with severe physical disabilities, caused by brain or spinal-cord injuries, for example, to make music for recreational or therapeutic purposes. The findings are published online in the journal Music and Medicine.

Nature News: Music is all in the mind

(via Richard Yonck)

See also: Eyewriter, an inexpensive way for people to draw using only their eyes.

March 21, 2011 1 comment
New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

tooth hearing aid

I thought I’d posted about this before, but I haven’t:

SoundBite detects noise using a microphone placed in the ear connected to a transmitter in a behind-the-ear (BTE) device. The BTE transmits to an in-the-mouth (ITM) device that sends small sound waves through the jaw to the cochlea. There is no surgery needed, and both the BTE and ITM are easily removed to be charged inductively. Sonitus Medical is still preparing the SoundBite for eventual FDA trials for single sided, and (eventually) other forms of deafness. Check out more photos after the break.

There are other hearing aid devices that utilize bone conduction. Most, however, use a titanium pin drilled into the jaw bone (or skull) to transmit sound to the cochlea. SoundBite seems to be the first non-surgical, non-invasive, easily removable device.

Singularity Hub: New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

(Thanks Trevor)

See also:

New Devices Aid Deaf People By Translating Sound Waves To Vibrations

September 24, 2010 3 comments
Augmented reality for the blind

Augmented reality for the blind

LookTel- augmented reality for the blind

Now here’s a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. LookTel is an object identifier – you point it at something and it tells you what it is. You can teach it to recognize new objects and by aiming it at a product, the program can tell what it is using real speech and when you need to ID something on the fly, you can stick on an image sticker and read that sticker. It’s more or less a barcode and QR scanner with some image recognition thrown in, but it really could be a boon to those with failing – or failed – eyesight.

The system needs a little more computing power than is available in the average smartphone so you need a local PC to help ID some things.

CrunchGear: LookTel, an app for the blind

(Via Augmented Timessee also their previous post on AR and blindness)

March 29, 2010 1 comment
EyeWriter: Open source technology for people suffering from ALS

EyeWriter: Open source technology for people suffering from ALS

EyeWriter

EyeWriter

The EyeWriter project is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies.

It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.

Members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks, the Graffiti Research Lab, and The Ebeling Group communities have teamed-up with a legendary LA graffiti writer, publisher and activist, named Tony Quan, aka TEMPTONE. Tony was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, a disease which has left him almost completely physically paralyzed… except for his eyes. This international team is working together to create a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow ALS patients to draw using just their eyes. The long-term goal is to create a professional/social network of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world who are using local materials and open source research to creatively connect and make eye art.

EyeWriter

(Thanks to Brett Burton, who pointed this out on the post about Intendix’s brain-computer interface)

March 26, 2010 0 comments
New Devices Aid Deaf People By Translating Sound Waves To Vibrations

New Devices Aid Deaf People By Translating Sound Waves To Vibrations

Lip reading is a critical means of communication for many deaf people, but it has a drawback: Certain consonants (for example, p and b) can be nearly impossible to distinguish by sight alone.

Tactile devices, which translate sound waves into vibrations that can be felt by the skin, can help overcome that obstacle by conveying nuances of speech that can’t be gleaned from lip reading.

Researchers in MIT’s Sensory Communication Group are working on a new generation of such devices, which could be an important tool for deaf people who rely on lip reading and can’t use or can’t afford cochlear implants. The cost of the device and the surgery make cochlear implants prohibitive for many people, especially in developing countries.

“Most deaf people will not have access to that technology in our lifetime,” said Ted Moallem, a graduate student working on the project. “Tactile devices can be several orders of magnitude cheaper than cochlear implants.”

Full Story: Science Daily

(via OVO)

March 2, 2009 0 comments