Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Amazing Device

For years (over 40) since I’ve been working in the field I’ve watched small changes in wheelchair design.

Basically, the advances seen in other areas such as automotive and aircraft design have not been duplicated for personal mobility devices for people with disabilities.

The major advance has been modular design, but this has disadvantages in terms of tailoring the modules to the changing physiology of developing kids, and needs physiotherapy supervision.

Where I work, physiotherapy supervision is the exception rather than the rule.

Things may be changing.

Scientists in Turkey have come up with a ground-breaking device. It’s not a wheelchair. It’s more a personal mobility device.

It looks a bit like a Segway but there the resemblance ends.

What is different about this thing is that the person enters from behind the device. It allows a range of movement and would provide for almost total independence for people with spinal injuries resulting in paraplegia.

It is expensive, and has been developed on the other side of the world, but holds out hope for the future.

A couple of observations – why Turkey? Why not the USA or some other country recognised as a leader in technology?

And why now? This technology has existed for years. It’s taken a long time for it to be synthesised into something useful.

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