Innovation is happening across the world in all fields, and developing solutions for people with disabilities is a compelling area to innovate in. Yet in many cases, the intended users of new innovations are not meaningfully involved in the design process. Postdoctoral researcher Tigmanshu Bhatnagar is working on a programme of activity to make user centred design a central part of assistive technology innovation.
Measuring the impact of AT on the lives of people with disabilities.
This project is investigating the potential to strengthen local systems of AT provision and innovation to address gaps in service. Where could more localised product and service innovation complement global supply chains to unlock more sustainable and resilient AT ecosystems ? We believe there is an opportunity to create better connections between the AT community and local manufacturers, with both newer digital and traditional fabrication expertise to enable innovation and better support for AT users beyond initial provision.
Tacilia is a Voice Controlled Tactile User Interface for Blind Learners which is based on a novel shape changing material technology and an advanced speech recognition AI.
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.
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.
Partnering with UCL and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the GDI Hub hosted the Enable Makeathon 2.0 in London. Five teams were selected to come to London to further develop their disability innovation ideas into new products and services over the course of a 16-day intensive ‘bootcamp’.