Transformational Assistive Technological growth worldwide

By Azmathulla Khan, Head of IT, thyssenkrupp

We have seen a sea change in the way life is made easier for normal human beings over last few decades with the advancement of technological innovations and now the trend is more shifting towards empowering and transforming Disabled and Handicap human beings to enable them work, earn and live as good as normal human being with the support of Assistive Technology& Innovative products covering Robotics/AI/IoT/Mobile Apps/Gadgets, etc…. 

This is one of my favorite topics and is also a motivation to take up Social Tech-Entrepreneurship role in days to come to consult and develop technology solutions and innovations for the handicapped /disabled /elderly and children with Special Needs. Every Recent technological advancement can be utilized in favor of expanding solutions for handicapped/disabled people. Innovation in technology is at its peak with several innovations currently in progress worldwide such as 

• Driverless Cars & Driverless Vehicles which is being tested and prototyped in several parts of the world. An autonomous car (also referred to as driverless car or self-driving car or robotic car) is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.Autonomous cars can detect surroundings using a variety of techniques such as radar, lidar, GPS, odometry, and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevantsignage. Autonomous cars have control systems that are capable of analyzing sensory data to distinguish between different cars on the road, which is very useful in planning a path to the desired destination.

• Robotic and Artificial intelligent solutions to ease the day to day living of handicap and elderly and children with special needs. Assistive robotic technologies for people with dementia, other age-related disabilities. The concept of applying findings from different technological areas to assist people in their daily activities, while also alleviating pressures on health professionals has emerged as a potential solution. Rehabilitation robotics is a field of research dedicated to understanding and augmenting rehabilitation through the application of robotic devices. Rehabilitation robotics includes development of robotic devices tailored for assisting different sensorimotor functions(e.g. arm, hand, leg, ankle), development of different schemes of assisting therapeutic training, and assessment of sensorimotor performance (ability to move) of patient; here, robots are used mainly as therapy aids instead of assistive devices.Rehabilitation using robotics is generally well tolerated by patients, and has been found to be an effective adjunct to therapy in individuals suffering from motor impairments, especially due to stroke. Rehabilitation robotics can be considered a specific focus of biomedical engineering, and a part of human-robot interaction. In this field, clinicians, therapists, and engineers collaborate to help rehabilitate patients. Prominent goals in the field include: developing implementable technologies that can be easily used by patients, therapists, and clinicians; enhancing the efficacy of clinician's therapies; and increasing the ease of activities in the daily lives of patients

• Prosthetic hands, legs & other prosthetic devices are being made innovative and adaptable to be almost natural allowing growth of such innovative devices with the growth of child. 

• 3D Printed Prosthetic hands, legs, limbs, etc… are also available in today’s world.

• Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we interact with our environment. From smart homes to smart cars, our devices talk to us, giving us information beyond what our five senses can perceive. Information beyond sight can revolutionize the way persons with blindness interact with their environment. Example: Amazon Echo Alexa is already available. With Internet of Things, everything is automated. Before going to bed, you either tell a “smart” device – “turn off all lights”, use an app on your phone, or make a gesture towards a smart device that it understands as a “turn off all lights” signal. When you wake up in the morning, you can have your bedroom lamp and bathroom lights turn on automatically at the same time. Half an hour later, coffee would be ready. Everything around you is connected to the Internet – from your lights in the house to your garage door to your car. With voice commands, mobile apps or gestures, you can set up a sequence in which everything you need readies itself without you having to manually interact with them.

• Revolutionary StepRover Power Wheelchairs which are making inroads to remove all obstacles for Human beings to be completely independent of other human beings and depend on technological innovations.

• Or simply several mobile apps/ mobile gadgets very handy for Handicap to be mobile enough with supporting apps or gadgets to make them fully functional and fully independent.

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