By Katlyn Lee
Published: April 10th, 2019
Technology can be used in positive ways – to protect the environment as well as people. There has been a number of exciting developments in technology that assist those with mobility issues. With nearly 75 million Americans living with some sort of physical impairment, the latest innovations in assistive technology come as welcome news. The technology can help give people more confidence and independence, as well as promote better health.
Finding ways to help obese people be more active is increasingly important, with nearly two billion adults classified as obese. Robots such as LG’s new CLOi Suitbot are aimed at people who struggle to walk and can be literally ‘worn’ like a suit, providing enough support to allow the person to stand up. What makes it stand out from previous exoskeleton suits is its multi-functionality. The Suitbot can also be used as a seat and has wheels attached to it, enabling people to use it as a means of transport when their legs are in need of rest.
Keyboards with assistive technology
Adapted keyboards offer the kind of assistive technology that can be particularly beneficial to students with mobility issues in their upper limbs. There is a range of technology on offer nowadays that can be applied to keyboards. A very simple solution is the KeyGuard, which has holes that sit over the digits on a standard keyboard. This helps people with limited motor coordination in their fingers to hit the correct keys. At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, voice-recognition technology from companies like Nuance enables people to carry out ‘no-touch’ typing on their computer, phone or tablet.
Something that offers a discreet and effective way of helping people with limited mobility in their lower limbs is Evolution Device’s wearable device, the EvoWalk. Designed for people living with some paralysis in their leg(s), this technology comes as a ‘sleeve’ that is worn on the leg and stimulates particular muscles. It also uses sensors to monitor the user’s movements. The result is that technology improves the person’s gait and enables them to walk further with relatively little discomfort. Furthermore, the device provides people with the opportunity to mingle socially without feeling as self-conscious as they might do without the sleeve. This can be particularly helpful to students who are new to college and wanting to meet new people.
The rise of technology in modern times may be seen in both a positive and negative light by people. However, few could argue that the developments in assistive technology are extremely encouraging. For college students with mobility issues, this sort of technology means that the support is available to help them feel included and to reach their fullest potential.