What's New in Assistive Technologies for People with Physical Disabilities

Published July 9, 2020

Decades ago, engineer Ralph Braun, who had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, designed his first assistive device, a battery-powered scooter. He was just 15. At 22 he built his first motorized wheelchair. Braun had decided to confront the challenges faced by those with muscular dystrophy by using his unique skills to improve the lives of those with disabilities worldwide.

Assistive technology comes in all forms. It can be a reacher, wheelchair, or a computer accessibility product — all are intended to make everyday tasks easier. Thousands of assistive technologies are available to enable greater independence for those with various types of disabilities.

Here are some of the newer assistive technologies out there

PCEye Mini by Tobii Dynavox

Eye-tracking device that uses the human gaze as a hands-free mouse. The company says it can fully replace the traditional keyboard and mouse with controls manipulated solely by eye movements.

This product is most likely to benefit individuals with limited motor skills or speech disabilities.

Check out PCEye Mini

Scewo Bro

A wheelchair that maintains level seating even on cobblestones and forest paths. It also has rubber tracks that can go up and down staircases.

This product is most likely to benefit individuals with limited mobility.

Check out Scewo Bro

Myosuit by MyoSwiss

Stabilizing device that helps enable intensive activity by recognizing the user’s movements and enhancing muscle support. 

This product is most likely to benefit individuals with muscle weakness.

Check out Myosuit

Conduct-A-Bot from MIT’s CSAIL

System that uses motion and electromyography sensors to detect muscle activity and arm movement to fly drones. The technology can potentially be used to control any kind of robot.

This product is most likely to benefit individuals with limited motor skills.

Check out Conduct-A-Bot


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