A shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired (w/ Video)

September 1st, 2015

Without doubt, this concept has to be the most lateral thinking piece of technology I’ve seen recently.

Just think what it would be capable of if it had GPS built in and a route could be preprogrammed in it from a map. Or a phone providing real time navigation information from a pocket and the cube responding by physically changing. Just brilliant.

Combine mechanical engineering, experimental theater, and an old dark church, and you’re bound to get some interesting results—a new navigation device, for instance.

That’s what happened when Yale University engineer Adam Spiers, a postdoctoral associate in the robotics lab of associate professor Aaron Dollar, worked on a London-based interactive production of “Flatland.” … The sighted and visually impaired audience members were kept in complete darkness most of the time … Guiding them through the darkness were handheld, shape-shifting cubes that Spiers designed and created with 3-D printing technology.

… The top half of the cube twists to direct users toward their next destination and extends forward to indicate the distance to reach it…. users know where to go by feeling the changing shapes.

“The simple idea is that when you’ve arrived at your target destination, it becomes a little cube again,” said Spiers, who specializes in the field of haptics, the sense of touch.

See link for video.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: A shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired (w/ Video)

Don’t let a disability stop you from using your smartphone

August 5th, 2015

Watch video from usatoday

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently tweeted, “Accessibility rights are human rights. Celebrating 25yrs of the ADA we’re humbled to improve lives with our products. #ADA25.”Apple and Google have baked strong accessibility tools into the iOS and Android ecosystem, respectively. While some tools are meant to complement third-party devices, from hearing aids to Braille keyboards, many just make the phones themselves easier to use. Some features we all enjoy — think Google Now or Siri, or auto-correction — weren’t designed with accessibility in mind, though they can lend an assist just the same.

Here’s an overview of accessibility features found in both platforms:

On iPhone, start by tapping Settings on the home screen, tapping General and tapping Accessibility.

On Android, go to Settings, scroll down to system settings, and tap Accessibility.

Read the full article on usatoday blog… via Don’t let a disability stop you from using your smartphone.

Maker uses 3D printing to create eye-tracking wheelchair

May 17th, 2015

3d joystick gate


UK-based maker Patrick Joyce, who has degenerative condition motor neuron disease (also known as MND or ALS), has created an eye-tracking wheelchair controller that allows a user who has lost all motor functions except for eye movement to be able to control their wheelchair and an onboard computer.

With Joyce, fellow Maker David Hopkinson, helped with some more involved physical tasks for the project.

Read full article via 3ders.org – ALS-diagnosed Maker uses 3D printing to create eye-tracking wheelchair | 3D Printer News & 3D Printing News.

Reader writes: Lead needed for Second Hand adaptive bike

May 12th, 2015

A recent email I received from Shellie:

I have been researching adaptive bikes for my 7 year old grandson. Many are so expensive and out of our price range.

Do you ever find people interested in selling a used bike?

So, if anyone knows anyone or any resources Shellie can tap into to find a used adaptive bike, please leave a comment below or send me an email and I’ll put you in touch.

[Bikes on Lifekludger]

Robot-building twins enable themselves through 3D printing technology

April 20th, 2015

Muscular dystrophy robot-building twins enable themselves through 3D printing technology - ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation


The ABC runs a article on two brothers with advanced muscular dystrophy in Melbourne who are using 3D printing tools to build things they need.

The brilliant thing about 3D printing is that you don’t need your own. You can design your own things and send the file to others who have a 3D printer and return a physical object.

It’s these kind of linkages of those who make things for fun and need things for life that Lifekludger has as its vision and the Internet and technology enables.

Muscular dystrophy robot-building twins enable themselves through 3D printing technology – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Open source, 3D Printed, thought controlled prosthetic hand

February 10th, 2015

3D Printed, thought controlled prosthetic hand for less than $1000. – Opensourced



via Meet Easton LaChappelle, The Teen Building A Cheaper, Better Prosthetic Arm.

Special Stylus solutions by shapedad on Etsy

January 22nd, 2015

Shapedad is an outlet on Etsy that provides custom solutions for stylus’ for touch screens in many formats.

Shapedad says: “It all started when the wife of a quad (quadriplegic) patient ordered a regular Stylus Socks stylus from our Etsy shop.”

Some examples below:


finger stylus

headpointer stylus






strap stylus  mouthstick stylus





Special needs solutions by shapedad on Etsy

Measure with Measure-It! Adhesive Tape

January 15th, 2015

Ever tried holding a conventional, metal tape measure horizontal by yourself?

This is a low-tack tape that will allow you to do all of your home decorating, renovation, and craft projects. The low-tack backing makes it easy to re-position or re-use.

via source: http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20141224/measure-home-projects-accurately-measureit-adhesive-tape/

Eye phone: How a app could help restore sight to millions

January 2nd, 2015

Around 39 million people in the world are affected by blindness — 80% of which could be avoided if people had timely access to diagnosis and proper treatment.

Ted blog reports on Peek — an app and adapter that turn a smartphone into a comprehensive, easy-to-use, accurate eye-exam tool. Peek makes eye tests affordable and easy to administer, bypassing the need for expensive, fragile equipment.

via source: http://blog.ted.com/2014/12/19/how-a-ted-fellows-new-app-could-help-restore-sight-to-millions/

7 iPad Apps to Help Students With Dyslexia – Mashable

December 30th, 2014

Dyslexia is a language-based disorder that makes reading, recognizing words, spelling and decoding especially difficult….

Mashable round up a list of seven apps that students, parents and teachers may find useful covering a range of abilities and ages.

via source: http://mashable.com/2014/07/28/apps-for-dyslexia/

DIY door lock for smartphone accessibility by Sony

December 29th, 2014

sony’s DIY ‘qrio’ smart lock clips onto door for smartphone accessibility

via source: http://www.designboom.com/technology/sony-qrio-smart-lock-12-14-2014/

In search of the Ubiquitous Mouthstick

November 18th, 2014

Mick (email on request) sent me this very pertinent email the other day about the un-ubiquitous nature of mouthsticks.

Lads is it just me or do we all use any given mouth-stick for a broad variety of tasks? I ask because I find that many of the solutions offered for a specific issue -in this case touch-barrier-only focus on that one use. And do not allow for the fact that mouthsticks are used as fingers. In fact I find most commercially available mouthsticks really flimsy and restrictive.
For instance, I want to be able to use the same mouthstick to turn pages, push switches, use phone or tablet, tv-remote, and who know what else on any given day. But I do not want to have to set down one stick and pick up a different one, or change heads just to carry out what may be a very breif or frequent task. (Obviously excepting painting or such) it’s just not practical. Try turning pages with these woven-wire tipped styluses,  or pushing small buttons? Is there a more holistic approach out there?

No Mick, it’s not just you. I use a mouthstick for everything. Typing and using the computer. Reading and turning pages, pushing and shuffling things around on my desk (with scant regard for my teeth.. and much angst by my dentist), operating my mobile phone, working the touchpad on (other’s) laptops when I fix them, etc etc.

A mouthstick is my hands and has to be multi-purpose and fit for such.

But you’re right. It’s a reality that the nature of most moutsticks adapted from touch screen stylus inherently have a very narrow focused purpose and therefore are less than ideal as the multi-purpose, multi-function apparatus we need from a ubiquitous mouthstick.

It’s another brick in the wall of what I’ve termed the Touch Barrier.

mouthstick close upSo it’s why my main stick is still my perspex rod with rubber thumblet one end and plastic tubing the other – as it fulfills the majority of what I do – and why I have a second stick that’s a modified metal stylus fo’r use on my mobile phone. It’s also the reason why I can’t use my phone from bed – one stick is hard enough, let alone trying to house, reach and use two, and why I tend not to buy touch screen devices.

I’m unsure whether the ubiquitous mouthstick has not yet surfaced because until now no-one seems to have raised the unspoken topic that Mick has or if a material that is both conductive and durable doesn’t exist from which to make one.

I’d be interested to hear of other’s experiences with juggling mouthsticks – please drop us a comment or an email.