We are rapidly moving towards 2018, and for this post I thought I’d look ahead to some of the innovations that may be available in 2018.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has lots of plans for the New Year. Sometimes I need help to reach my goals, so I’m always on the look-out for any aids that will help me overcome any barriers.
Tmusk’s Rodem Robotic Wheelchair
The Rodem robotic wheelchair looks very different from conventional wheelchairs. It’s “piggyback” seat means that it is easier to get onto the Rodem. It also means that you are in a higher, forward-mounted position, so that you can hold face to face conversations, cook, get washed, and do all sorts of other tasks more easily.
The Rodem can be controlled by a Smartphone, so you can call it to you when you want to get out of a bed or chair. And then move it out of the way at night.
The Rodem has a range of over 9 miles, and has a top speed of 3.7 miles per hour. It does take 8 hours to recharge though, so probably just suitable for local use.
You do need good upper body strength to use it, but as you can see from the video below, it does offer exciting possibilities for daily use.
The price is going to be prohibitive for many people, it is currently around $8,700.
Currently only available in Japan, the Rodem is due to reach the UK in 2018.
Ekso Bionics develop a range of exoskeleton products for use in rehabilitation clinics, to help people to get back onto their feet sooner after illness or injury. The sooner people can stand and move, the better their long-term outcomes.
Ekso products can help patients who thought they would never walk or stand again hope of greater mobility and independence. They can be used with patients who have suffered a stroke or who have spinal cord injuries.
Although the firm is based in the USA, the technology has been developing for several years, so could soon come to a rehabilitiation clinic in the UK.
assist-Mi app for independent travel
If one of your new year goals is to travel more places independently, then the assist-Mi app may be for you.
Currently being trialled in the Coventry area, the app offers disabled users assistance whilst travelling.
How it works is that you download the app and complete your profile with your assistance needs. The app then sends a message to service providers, so that they can provide assistance when you need it. It does this by using location-based technologies and two-way messaging. This means that service providers know exactly when you’re arriving, and what assistance you may need.
Obviously, as the app is new, not a lot of providers know about it, or are signed up to use it. But as awareness grows, I can see this being a very exciting development. Not only for travelling, but for attending the cinema or theatre, ensuring restaurants know that you’re going to need a clear pathway to your table. Perhaps you’re going to a business appointment and you need someone to open the door. Do you need help to fill up with petrol? In time, assist-Mi can help arrange all of these things in advance.
If you suffer from hand tremors, then using eating utensils can be difficult. You may well avoid eating out.
The portable Liftware Steady is an electronic stabilising handle with attachments that can help you eat more easily.
The handle contains sensors that detect hand motion. A small onboard computer distinguishes unwanted tremors from the intended movement of the hand.
Two motors in the handle move the utensil in the opposite direction to the tremor, keeping the utensil stable.
The Liteware steady is portable, and comes with attachments such as a soup spoon and fork.
Developed by an American company, unfortunately it isn’t currently shipped to the UK. But they are looking for resellers, so let’s hope someone stocks it locally very soon.