Research

Disability innovation is more than a product, service, or policy, it is a way of thinking to address disability challenges by co-designing solutions and sharing knowledge.

GDI Hub is a multi-sector, multi-partner, inter-disciplinary UCL research centre, bringing together diverse and cross-disciplinary expertise to leverage international partnerships for global reach, led by Academic Director Professor Cathy Holloway.
Sculpture of a giant character on top of a space hopper with wheelchair users interacting with the sculpture via their mobile phone
Europe

Disability Interactions in Digital Games: Workshop at CHI Play 2019

We are very keen to have a mixture of academic and non-academic papers at this workshop therefore, we would like to invite additional contributions in the format of a social paper OR a standard 4-page CHI extended abstract. Social papers are maximum one page in length and act as a CV for networking. These can be submitted by anyone interested in the area of accessibility and gaming. We have extended the deadline to the 1st of October.

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An image of the Brain.

Artificial Intelligence for Mental Wellbeing Monitoring

The aim of this project to build new low-cost approaches to more reliable mental wellbeing measurements using mobile sensing technology, supporting unconstrained and potentially a variety of everyday situations.

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Women standing and man in wheelchair using a mobile device next to an art sculpture

DIX

Disability Interaction (DIX) puts disability front and center in the design process, and in so doing aims to create accessible, creative new HCI solutions that will be better for everyone, including poor communities, which disabled people are more likely to be part of.

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Logo of the title of the project: fit for purpose prosthetics. For is represented by the number four which in the center has a hand with half an arm that appear to be a prosthetic.
Asia | Africa | Europe

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses is designing upper limb prostheses that are both low cost and fit for their purpose and circumstance. The project is funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Challenges Research Fund.

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Affordable powered mobility toy for young children, with panels for children to paint on and a simple seat design.
Asia | Africa

Powered mobility for young children everywhere

Young children everywhere need to be mobile - to be able to explore their world, make choices about what they want to do, who they want to play with, and where they want to go.

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A picture of a computer model of a dynamic seat for children with severe movement disorders
Europe

Dynamic seating for children with severe movement disorders

GDI Hub is working with Designability to evaluate a new kind of seat that moves with the child and enables them to explore movement while they are seated and well supported

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A workshop room showing a range of wheelchairs including a hand powered bike in the foreground.

Research, Evidence and Impact - as part of the AT2030 programme

The AT2030 Sub-Programme on “Research, evidence and impact” seeks to understand ‘what works’ and develop a framework for the innovations and policy interventions across the AT2030 programme.

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Man using a latop to operate a wheelchair
Europe

CROWDBOT

CROWDBOT will enable mobile robots to navigate autonomously and assist humans in crowded areas, rather than simply stopping when the going gets tough.

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Asia | Africa

Community-led Solutions: Assistive Tech in informal settlements

Researchers from the Development Planning Unit at UCL, along with Leonard Cheshire, are working with the GDI Hub to undertake an exciting programme working with communities living in conditions of informality (often referred to as slums) in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Banjarmasin, Indonesia.

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A busy street scene in India showing a broad range or motor and manually powered wheeled transport for disabled people
Asia

Street Rehab in India

An EPSRC GCRF project the project tested a new methodology for creating accessible maps for fast changing cities like Delhi. Using embedded sensors attached to wheelchairs, we mapped accessible and difficult to access routes. Initially, the project also aimed to capture rehabilitation metrics whilst pushing a wheelchair beyond a clinical environment, but instead the community of wheelchair users we worked with preferred to use the tool as an advocacy tool.

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A computer generated 3D model of a wheelchair on a blue chequered background.
Europe

Power-up! - Fuelling the next generation of assistive technologies

A research project to understand how and when manual wheelchair users need and use power assistance and to determine if fuel cell technology is suitable for the power requirements of assistive technology, specifically wheelchairs.

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A female wheelchair user in dark clothes and beanie hat ascending a ramp from right to left in a sports hall.
Europe

ARCCS - Accessible Routes from Crowdsourced Cloud Services

Ongoing research where we have developed a new technique for wheelchair localisation and surface determination using a fusion of GPS/IMU information and machine learning. Data captured helps wheelchair users travel in a more effective ways and share data to demonstrate accessibility issues and encourage improvements.

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Female in a wheelchair carrying a water bottle in an informal settlement. Kid walking in the back.

AT2030: Drive Availability and Affordability of Assistive Technology

To address the need gap and significantly scale up the provision of affordable and appropriate Assistive Technology, this sub-programme will test market shaping methodologies which include research, scoping, and future planning; the creation of market shaping tools; and pilot testing of market interventions. This sub-programme is led by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

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A wheelchair user facing away from camera at a bright yellow table full of art supplies, the floor is orange/red chequered pattern and there are two other people at the table. It looks like a classroom.
Africa

AT2030: Assistive Technology Scoping Exercise

Funded by UK AID this focused on mapping and analysis of the innovation landscape around Assistive Technology globally with a focus on low and middle-income countries to highlight potential market failures and to scope out possible solutions.

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An ugandan boy in a full classroom raises his hand to ask something to teacher.
Africa

Inclusive Education in Uganda: The Impact of Assistive Technology

The project focuses on the impact of assistive technology and accessible learning materials in promoting participation of children with disabilities in Uganda. This project aims to provide support to overcome barriers to education through assistive technology and to develop the evidence base for how technology helps inclusion in the classroom.

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Lady in a wheelchair, wearing a bright orange top, holding a yellow water jug; a boy follows behind. They are in a street in India.

PhD Research Programme

Talented students are invited to propose a PhD research project in areas related to AI powered Physiological & Affective Computing, with the aim to create novel assistive technology and boost disability innovation.

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PrimeVR2 Lgogo
Europe

Prime-VR2

The PrimeVR2 project is a Horizon 2020 project where commercial, academic and research teams are building a virtual reality platform that will allow people with a hyperkinetic movement disorder, people who have had a stroke, and people with a sports injury to play games and interact in a virtual environment for rehabilitation.

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CHI 2021 Logo Image

Rethinking the Senses: A Workshop on Multisensory Embodied Experiences and Disability Interactions

The dynamic aspects of living with disability, life transitions, including ageing, psychological distress, long-term conditions such as chronic pain and new conditions such as long-COVID affect people’s abilities. Interactions with this diversity of embodiments can be enriched, empowered and augmented through using multisensory and cross-sensory modalities to create more inclusive technologies and experiences. This workshop will explore three related sub-domains: immersive multi-sensory experiences, embodied experiences, and disability interactions and design. The aim is to better understand how we can rethink the senses in technology design for disability interactions and the dynamic self, constructed through continuously changing sensing capabilities either because of changing ability or because of the empowering technology. This workshop will: (i) bring together HCI researchers from different areas, (ii) discuss tools, frameworks and methods, and (iii) form a multidisciplinary community to build synergies for further collaboration.

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CHI 2021 Logo Image

Disability design and innovation in low resource settings. Workshop at CHI2021

Research that focuses on understanding technology and how it could be used to empower people with disabilities who live in the Global South is sorely needed, yet conducting and planning studies in the field is often challenging.

We want to co-create a long-lasting, sustainable and creative community, made by and for researchers and practitioners from academia, NGOs, and the private sector who are interested in conducting work around technology for people with disabilities living in the Global South. Our unique workshop is designed to support this aim through synchronous and asynchronous activities. Our vision is to spark engagement beyond the boundaries of this CHI2021 workshop.

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Assistive Technology 2030: technical research

AT2030 (Assistive Technology 2030) brings together partners who haven’t traditionally focused on assistive technology (AT), with experts, innovators and AT users to experiment with new ideas and thinking.

GDI Hub Academic Research Centre provides robust evidence of the effectiveness of the AT2030 projects to drive evidence and knowledge.

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Erasable Tactile Doodling - Toodleoo

Designing a new way to produce erasable tactile drawings and graphics to present visualisations to blind and partially sighted students and professionals. The project uses smart materials and research on ways to make them operational. The final output will be particularly useful to understand STEM subjects and to express and communicate ideas and creativity.

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Make It Visible - using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic

PhD student Kate Burton​ is conducting research on using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic images to provide tactile representations for visually impaired people. The aim is to take the world seen through a microscope and make it accessible to those with visual impairments​ using tactile 3D printed models​.

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