Approximately 15 percent of people around the world—some 1 billion in all—have a disability, according to the World Bank. In this issue, we feature several IEEE members who are developing technologies that can help those who are blind, deaf, or have limited physical mobility.
IEEE Senior Member Siddhartha Srinivasa, founder of the Personal Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, is working on robots to help people with paralysis live independently. And IEEE Fellow Rory Cooper, a military veteran who suffered a spinal cord injury, has developed a robotic wheelchair that can give people a smooth ride over uneven terrain.
Another member, Juan Aceros, is leading the Adaptive Toy Project at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, which retrofits miniature ride-on cars and makes them accessible to kids with disabilities. We also feature IEEE Member Angelo Quattrociocchi, CTO of 3DPhotoWorks, a startup that’s creating tactile 3-D versions of classic paintings for museums so that blind people can experience artworks through touch. And we profile IEEE Member Conor Walsh, who designed a soft, robotic exosuit to help stroke patients and others to walk with less difficulty.
To help you stay abreast of what’s going on in the fields of accessible and assistive technology, we also rounded up IEEE resources including conferences, publications, and standards.
They include HERB the butler bot and MEBot, a high-tech all-terrain wheelchair
Gadgets are designed to help the blind, deaf, or those with essential tremor
IEEE student members work with physical therapists to retrofit off-the-shelf toys
Members discuss their work on bionic limbs, soft robotics, and wearables for rehabilitation
Events feature rehabilitation robots and brain-machine interfaces
The startup’s printing technology helps people visualize images through touch
How devices to help people with disabilities have advanced over 40 years
The Harvard professor’s prototype can help stroke survivors walk