Adaptable living for disabled individuals is experiencing a renaissance. A community of companies — both established and start-ups — are pushing independence. At the intersection of technology and adaptability is a new generation of handicap equipment that help people live extraordinary lives.
The inspiration for the handicap equipment featured in this article comes from the basic activities most people take for granted. However, the assisting mechanism completes these ‘mundane’ tasks in rather extraordinary ways. So, if you love the phenomenon of advanced technology leveling the playing field — and helping to turn the ‘difficult, if not impossible’ into everyday victories — this blog post is for you.
1. AXS Map — Crowdsourced map for wheelchair-accessible facilities
The crowdsourcing phenomenon combines the brilliance of technology with the collaboration of its users. AXS Map is the ideal representation of crowdsourcing at its finest. This tool runs off the premise that wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms are not easily noticed, depending on location.
AXS Map combines facilities locations and design reviews using GPS and star reviews that are consistently updated. Featured locations include high-traffic structures — think restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, etc. The best part? AXS Maps gets better every time you use it as the crowdsourcing influence develops.6 unusual & genius handicap equipment devices #accessibility #abilitymission Click To Tweet
2. assist-Mi — Assistance application connects users to service providers
Getting a load of groceries from the supermarket. Cleaning out a mess in the garage. A quick lift to or from work. Day-to-day responsibilities that can be trying — if not nearly impossible — for disabled individuals. The assist-Mi assistance application empowers users to get those little (or big) chores done.
Perhaps, assist-Mi’s most unique feature? The Mi-Profile element that keeps track of a user’s needs and conveys that information to service providers when it’s time to get things done — including two-way communication and GPS functionality for timely exchange of critical information.
3. iBot — Self-balancing, stair-climbing wheelchair for the physically disabled
In the past, wheelchair-bound individuals had two options: (1) live life on a single, bottom floor of their homes; or, (2) rely on expensive, track-bound staircase transfer lift seats — which can rarely be operated alone. Enter the iBot self-balancing, stair-climbing wheelchair.
Using gyroscopic design technology found similarly in the Segway, the iBot will empower wheelchair users to navigate nearly any terrain. Referred to as the ATV of wheelchairs, iBot maneuvers up and down any plane safely and smartly.
4. Eyegaze Edge — System that controls computers with eye movements
For sufferers of motor neuron diseases, using a computer is increasingly difficult. However, US-based company LC Technologies has created Eyegaze Edge — a hardware and software tandem tool that empowers users to control their computers solely with eye movements.
A tiny, albeit sensitive, camera underneath the table of the computer system translates gaze changes into screen movements for an unprecedented level of cursor control. Recent advancements in the system hardware has made the Eyegaze Edge smaller, lighter, and more convenient to handle.
5. Myo — Armband uses muscular electricity to control Bluetooth devices
The goal is to return advanced functionality by replacing missing limbs with prosthetics. Ontario-based think tank Thalmic Labs has introduces Myo — the armband that allows users to control Bluetooth-enabled computer devices with electricity from skeletal muscles.
These wireless signals can be programmed to control prosthetic limbs with amazing degrees of precision — moreso even than via electrodes. Myo can also be utilized by non-disabled users in a variety of remarkable ways.
6. ReWalk — Bionic exoskeleton restores walking mobility to paraplegics
For those with spinal cord injuries, the notion of ever walking again can be beyond the imagination. However, using this inspiration as a catalyst for change, Israeli-based global medical technology firm ReWalk has created a bionic exoskeleton that can give disabled users back the ability to walk.
For those with injuries severe enough that the exoskeleton can’t help, ReWalk has also created the UpNRide. This Segway-like device helps quadriplegics move from an upright position — encouraging mobility as well as the benefits of upright positioning.
Contact AMS Vans today for handicap equipment installation and maintenance from our world-class service team. Our industry-certified technicians undergo hundreds of hours of continuing education every year to stay current with the latest in mechanisms and best-practices.
About AMS Vans
America’s Mobility Van Dealer is a national wheelchair accessible van dealer and manufacturer with a mission to deliver the industry’s best adaptable vehicles and mobility equipment that meets the unique needs of our customers at a price they can afford.