Making brain rehabilitation fun with virtual reality

Making brain rehabilitation fun with virtual reality

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A budgeting tool for people with autism

People living with Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as autism have trouble understanding numbers and abstract concepts such as value. As a result, they have been left without any financial products they can understand hence can’t aim to become independent. Olive allows for this by enabling carers to place rules ( limits, permissions) over certain categories of money (groceries, rent, etc). In this way, Olive can adapt to the decision making abilities of the user. Olive has been working with some major banks who are interested in transforming their products, and soon, she’ll be releasing a toolkit to help support banks in this process. http://awards.ixda.org/entry/2019/olive-finance-made-accessible/

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The right trousers

Robo-trousers that help people stand up, walk upstairs and get out and about are being designed by British scientists in a government-funded scheme to help the elderly and disabled stay mobile. The University of Bristol is developing “smart trousers” with artificial muscles which give frail people bionic strength so they can live independently for longer. The muscles are air-filled bubbles of plastic that can raise a leg from a seated to a standing position. The project has been dubbed “The Right Trousers” in reference to The Wrong Trousers, the Wallace and Gromit animation in which Wallace constructs a pair of calamitous cyber slacks. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/sep/11/the-right-trousers-wallace-and-gromit-mobility-aid-robotic

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Smart glasses that help blind people “see”

Aira is video-equipped smart glasses, a smartphone app and one-button access to a network of trained professional agents. You get immediate assistance for almost anything you want to do without a sighted person nearby. The system uses augmented reality to enhance your everyday experience. One of the most requested services among Aira’s customers is medication recognition. As a result, AT&T is currently helping develop a recognition solution using Aira’s new AI platform, to correctly identify prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. https://aira.io/

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A social robot that helps autistic adults find work

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have built Alyx, a robot that teaches autistic people to recognise social cues. Learning to identify and process these facial expressions is critical to workplace interactions. The team plans to turn the Alyx prototype into a full-bodied, autonomous version, operating in a mock workplace, with clinical trials then planned. http://www.straitstimes.com/world/social-robot-could-help-autistic-adults-find-work

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An off-road wheelchair

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The HexHog is an off-road wheelchair offering unprecedented access to extreme terrain including hills, mud, snow and shallow water. This battery powered machine offers the freedom to go places you wouldn’t have dreamed possible. It allows wheelchair users or those with limited dexterity to enjoy the countryside and back country wilderness. www.hexhog.com

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Grocery Chain Trialing ‘Quiet Hour’ for Autistic Shoppers

coles

For individuals on the autism spectrum, the bright lights and loud sounds of a busy supermarket can cause sensory overload. In response to customer feedback, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in partnership with Coles, has rolled out “Quiet Hour” in 68 supermarket stores today to make the shopping experience a little easier. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-21/coles-rolls-out-quiet-hour-to-help-shoppers-with-autism/9176272

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A 6th sense for blind people

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A wristband called Sunu emits a high-frequency sound wave that bounces off objects as far as 14 feet in front before registering as a gentle, pulsing vibration. The closer the object is — whether it’s a wall, trash can or person — the more frequent the pulses become, allowing blind people to create a mental map of the world around them using echolocation. It’s like the sonar device being used in vehicles to sense nearby objects and avoid crashes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/10/27/for-decades-the-blind-have-used-canes-to-get-around-now-an-special-wrist-band-helps-them-locate-hazards/?

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