Photokina 2014 highlights

Disability

Grant Douglas, who suffers from cerebral palsy, helped with the development of the S'up sp...

Most of us take the humble spoon for granted, but for those with conditions affecting their motor control, a regular spoon can be a spill just waiting to happen and enjoying a bowl or cereal, soup or ice cream is a two-person job. But the team at Scotland-based design engineering consultants 4c Design are looking to give people with motor control issues more independence with the S'up Spoon.  Read More

Talk is an augmentative and alternative communication device that allows people to spell o...

For people with disabilities that affect their ability to speak, communicating with others can be very difficult. A new device known as Talk, however, is designed to help such people to do so. It senses dots and dashes made by the person using their breath, in order to spell out words.  Read More

The Zinger weighs 38 pounds, and folds down to go in a car

For people who are almost entirely unable to walk, a powerful heavy-duty electric wheelchair is sometimes necessary. For folks who simply have limited mobility, however, often all that's needed is a little something to lessen the amount of walking that they have to do. A number of lightweight folding electric wheelchairs have emerged to serve that market. One of the latest, the Zinger, is also reportedly the lightest.  Read More

The Firefly, from Rio Mobility

Attaching in less than a minute, the Firefly electric handcycle turns a 4-wheeled manual wheelchair into a 3-wheeled power trike capable of taking you about 24 km (15 miles) at a decent clip of 18 km/h (11 mph). For less than US$2,000, it makes for a really nifty short to medium range getabout for walking the dog, popping down to the shops or short commutes.  Read More

The ReWalk motorized exoskeleton, which has been available in the UK since 2012, has now b...

Following multiple clinical studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the way for the ReWalk to be sold for personal use in the US. This makes the ReWalk the first motorized exoskeleton designed for people with lower body paralysis due to spinal cord injury to be cleared for personal use in the US.  Read More

The bruise trousers release magenta dye when subjected to impact (Photo: Lucy Jung, Ming K...

Along with the obvious mobility issues faced by athletes who are unable to walk, they also face another challenge – if they're unable to feel their legs, that means they can't always tell when they've been hurt. Severe bruises or broken bones can simply go unnoticed, until they develop into even more of a problem. That's why a group of students at Imperial College London have invented a set of "bruise trousers" that show such athletes when and where they've received a serious impact below the waist.  Read More

A new brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton will allow a paraplegic person to kick off the ...

On June 12th, the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be kicked off by a paralyzed person using a highly innovative brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. This feat is being carried out as a demonstration of the current state-of-the art in assisted mobility technology, as the researchers involved – part of the "Walk Again Project" – work toward refining their invention.  Read More

Disabled mice regained the ability to walk less than two weeks after receiving human neura...

When scientists at the University of Utah injected human stem cells into mice disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, they expected the cells to be rejected by the animals' bodies. It turned out that the cells were indeed rejected, but not before they got the mice walking again. The unexpected finding could have major implications for human MS sufferers.  Read More

This Corvette C7 Stingray is different than most in that its driver is quadriplegic and is...

What might it take to put a former Indy Racecar League driver back in the driver’s seat after a racing accident renders him quadriplegic? Perhaps a customized Corvette C7 Stingray, decked out by military and industry engineers to allow Sam Schmidt, now an owner of his own Indy team, to take back the metaphorical wheel.  Read More

Kent Stephenson bends his leg, thanks to an implanted epidural stimulator

In 2011, 25 year-old paraplegic Rob Summers was able to temporarily regain limited use of his legs, thanks to an experimental technique known as epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord. Now, in a new study, Summers and three other paraplegic test subjects have shown even more promising results, thanks to the technology.  Read More

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