The improvement of the living conditions of people with disabilities has become a significant concern of society in recent years. The establishment of specialized infrastructures and the development of new technologies opened up science-fiction opportunities some 20 years ago. And today, these initiatives are making a significant difference to the daily lives of those affected, both personally and professionally.
Developed and created by Ladislas de Toldi and Marine Couteau, two biology engineers, Leka was acquired by the APF France handicap association in April 2019. The robot, which is round and bright in shape, is edutainment and interactive tool for children with developmental disorders such as autism and trisomy 21. In particular, he acts as a mediator in relations with adults and helps children in specific basic learning processes. For example, it allows you to learn colors and recognize objects.
BE MY EYES
Developed and marketed by the Danish Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Be My Eyes is a mobile application that allows blind and partially sighted people to use their smartphones to access their vision. In other words, it connects volunteers with blind or partially sighted people who need guidance. Visually impaired person needs help can ask for help with the application. The available volunteer then guides his interlocutor with the camera and microphone of his smartphone.
Designed by Lambert Trénoras, the Gyrolift is a wheelchair based on the gyropod, a system that allows people to move on two wheels parallel to their body movements. The device weighs 35 kilograms, can travel up to 10 kilometers per hour and can climb slopes up to 20%. It was mainly designed to improve accessibility for people with reduced mobility in the workplace. Besides, the ability to stand upright is the most significant advantage of this chair. In this way, people with limited mobility can put themselves at the same height as their interlocutor during discussions.
SignAloud is a pair of gloves created by Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, two students at the University of Washington. The invention allows people who do not know sign language to communicate with people who are mute and hard of hearing. In particular, it will enable its user to translate sign language into the spoken language in real-time. The gloves are equipped with sensors that record the position and movements of the hands. Then, the information is sent by Bluetooth to a computer that analyzes the changes using sequential regression algorithms. If the machine recognizes the gesture, the corresponding word is automatically spoken via a loudspeaker.
Developed by Microsoft, Seeing IA is an application with artificial intelligence that allows blind people to see photos. Available since 2015 on iOS devices, this technology is capable of providing an audio description of a picture. It is based on the recognition of objects and landscapes and is characterized by six main features: reading texts, reading printed documents, identifying barcodes, identifying a person and expressing emotions, describing the surrounding environment and recognizing banknotes.
Another good example is smart homes: