Friday, 25 May 2012

Hereward College's students road test the JACO robotic arm

Students at Hereward College are road testing one of the only robotic arms in the UK.

Disabled students at the Coventry college are trying out the artificial arm – complete with elbow, forearm and fingers – to see if it can help with day to day tasks.

Controlled with a joystick or switches, the electric device can grip objects, pick them up and move them about.

Information technology student Jonathan McGeown demonstrated how the arm can be used to be grip a beaker and lift it off a table.

Staff at the college in Bramston Crescent, Tile Hill, bought the arm from Canadian company Kinova. They were able to buy it at a discount as the company is keen to get the product being used by people in the UK.A donation from energy giant Npower was used to cover the cost.

College staff believe it will be useful for students with conditions that affect ability to use limbs such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.

Students will be asked to try out the device and help staff assess how useful it is.If it proves as useful as they expect, staff plan to collect evidence and present it to charities and the NHS to make the case for funding for more of the robotic arms.

Demonstrating the arm to the Telegraph, Jonathan said: “It has been good so far.”According to the college’s head of access, research and development Paul Doyle, the robotic arm is the only Kinova made one being used by disabled people in the country. Similar ones made by other manufacturers are relatively rare.Mr Doyle said: 
“We have been using assistive technologies for some time and the next phase of development is in the field of robotics.

“This arm has been widely used in Canada and North America and is starting to be used in Europe.

“In this country the health service prescribes on an evidence base and because this arm hasn’t been used there is no evidence – so it hasn’t been prescribed.

“It’s a Catch 22 situation. We hope to change that by providing the evidence.
“The joystick means it can be used in three dimensions to pick up pencils and glasses. Although it is expensive it can save on the long run because it means less to do for carers.”

This article was written and belongs to Coventry Telegraph™ 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Hereward College Personal Robot User Survey

Hereward students have been working through the ACCESS Centre with experts in the field of robotics. 

The project concerns research and development in the field of assistive robots for potential consumers with mobility impairments. The participants have been asked what they REALLY want robots to do for them. 

As you’ll see from the video, the students came up with some very creative ideas.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hello Stranger !!!

Where have I been I hear you ask!!!

Sorry to have been elusive but as those of you who have ever been involved with a European project will already know the final report writing is quite a bit of work.

So what is the big news since my last post? Robots and Son of ATVET. ATVET has spawned a potential spin off project Virtual Telecare Training Tool for Assited Living (ViTTAL) it involves condensing the learnng outcomes from the ATVET project and developing a new more focussed programme for installers of telecare and support workers specifically. Not very innovative I hear you say. Well, the innovation will be in delivering key elements of the content and capturing learning using Second Life. Participants will be able to carry out on site surveys and installations of telecare solutions in households that represent aspects of Northern, Southern and mid European climate, geography, architectural styles amongst other factors and be populated with virtual clients who present with symptoms of common long term conditions.
We have put together a strong pan European team and will find out if we are successful in July/August.

Robots; It appears as if they are the next big thing. As I have being banging on about in my sister blog robotsathereward there is a potential for robots to provide a major component of a disabled persons support package (not forgetting the human element of course).

I have decided that robots should now fall under the umbrella term of AT so they will be covered in this blog from now on.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Nearly There!!!

The ATVET Project breathes it's last on the 31st of this month, and to send our baby off we are having a bash in Brussels. Hopefully we will have enough momentum to push the project out to the remainder of the EU.
If we can prevent the scenario depicted in the last post then the project will have been worthwhile.

Pop along if you are in town :-)

Sad consequence of lack of AT Training

This clip I think highlights just how devastating lack of trained personnel and a responsive support package can be for a user of AT.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Thinking outside the box, bedroom, therapy centre!!!

The Japanese electronics giant Panasonic have taken a different approach to the perennial problem faced by those relying on human support to get in and out of bed.

This link shows an innovative possible solution and looks more like a retail product than many of it's rivals.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Someone out there is waking up!!

At long last a group of like minded souls have cottoned on to the fact that Smart Meters can act as Telecare gateways and actually provide additional person centred services.

All I can say is well done chaps and wish I could play :-(

Link to presentation