Ms Jane Wang presents an emphatic “indeed” when requested if style can adjust the way folks with disabilities and the aged dwell, work, perform and study.
Following all, she is the co-founder of residence-grown medical robotics start out-up Roceso Technologies, a planet pioneer in delicate robotic exoskeleton systems. On Wednesday, she appeared on American news television channel CNN, talking about her firm’s “gentle robotic glove”.
Identified as EsoGlove, it is a single of the world’s lightest hand rehabilitation and exoskeleton devices for men and women with motor troubles in the hand and arm.
The EsoGlove family of assistive products involves 3D software and sensors that offer biofeedback to therapists and medical practitioners on improvements in mobility.
“Products these kinds of as our arm help program compensate for arm bodyweight and weakness, and make the user’s arm experience as nevertheless it is operating in zero gravity,” suggests Ms Wang, a mechatronics engineer who co-started the company with Dr Hong Kai Yap and Professor Raye Yeow in 2016.
One particular of her consumers, Mr H.K. Chung, an govt in the coverage compliance company, rented the EsoGlove method about 3 months back for his 67-year-old father, who suffered a stroke in November 2018 and was not able to discuss or management his correct arm and leg.
Whilst his father’s appropriate leg had enhanced since his stroke, his proper hand was however weak.
Mr Chung states: “My father had to have rehabilitation classes for both his appropriate hand or leg as soon as a 7 days, which expense about $90 to $150 a session.
“Now, with the EsoGlove, he performs out his hand each individual working day and I seen that following just two months from the first rental of the program, there ended up outcomes – he was in a position to get back some manage and was transferring his fingers on his very own.”
He pays about $500 a month to lease the glove method, which involves a notebook and rehabilitation software that monitors movements and guides his father in flexing his hands.
“Expenses aside, the reality that my father is ready to profit from the programme on a daily basis, in its place of weekly, presents me hope he is only going to get better,” he suggests.
I dwell very significantly from my parents and the CCTV solution offers me the adaptability to examine in on them extra normally with no the need to frequently fall by and see them in individual.
MS CHER KONG on how a shut-circuit tv system has offered her more peace of brain relating to her parents’ nicely-getting
So significantly, Roceso Technologies has pumped in far more than $1 million to develop its med-tech business enterprise. But it is not the only nearby corporation offering “assistive design and style” – large-tech devices, products and solutions and application that enhance the lives of people suffering from different disabilities.
Another regional business in the assistive place is Household-A-Genius, which has been building inexpensive higher-tech methods since 2014, together with house automation methods for people with disabilities and the aged.
“We can hardwire an complete dwelling to be managed via the owner’s cellular telephone, notebook or pill,” says co-founder Cheryl Chiang, 32, who started out the corporation in 2017 with Mr Romel Chua, 34.
One particular of her clients is a teenager who has a exceptional genetic illness which results in his bones to turn out to be brittle. He lost the capacity to walk just after a fracture a few a long time back.
The teen felt a lot more unbiased, she suggests, just after Residence-A-Genius rewired the lights, curtains and dwelling appliances to answer to controls via an application on his Android pill.
Ms Chiang, who is an facts programs graduate from Singapore Administration College, works with her staff of specialists to sync mild bulbs, curtains, blinds and household appliances to virtual assistant gizmos these as Amazon Alexa or Google Dwelling Nest.
She claims security is most crucial for her clients, who check with for shut-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance for aged associates of the relatives as a substitute of tech wearables to keep an eye on movement.
Digital marketeer Cher Kong, 33, says the House-A-Genius CCTV method has presented her much more peace of thoughts about her parents’ effectively-becoming. “I dwell pretty considerably from my parents and the CCTV solution gives me the versatility to examine in on them far more normally without the need of the want to usually fall by and see them in man or woman.”
Ms Chiang claims that although clever house hardware applied to be fairly expensive, prices have fallen immediately after China entered the market place in the latest decades with low cost Online of Things (IoT) items these as automation circuits and products.
“Today, while rates for dwelling automation techniques are one particular-third of the unique charge, it is even now very higher for the average house owner,” claims Ms Chiang, who foresees further more downward strain on costs. “A good cooking hob and hood could price about $5,000 as opposed with a typical version retailing for all over $2,000.”
Even though dwelling automation will need to have time to obtain traction due to the significant charges, professional automation in Singapore, these types of as robotics, is escalating by leaps and bounds. This augurs very well for persons with disabilities who will be equipped to male these programs.
Community robotic get started-up BotsCom Alternatives not too long ago developed Sophie the Laksa Robot for a area catering firm. It is not only an automated noodle station for churning out up to 80 bowls of laksa an hour, but also a effectiveness “artist” and a hit on YouTube.
It blanches the noodles, picks the prawns and ladles the laksa gravy in just 45 seconds.
“Robotic techniques this sort of as Laksa Robot are very simple to work and the folks controlling them can easily be supervised,” states Mr Wesley Chan, 37, a robotic software engineer and co-founder of BotsCom, which was began two decades back.
He thinks a robot’s constructed-in basic safety mechanisms and secure programming are a perfect match for human collaboration. “The robotic has an precision of .1mm and those people with confined mobility or other disabilities are in a position to support it in carrying out complex and even sensitive function,” claims Mr Chan, who has more than 10 years of experience in manufacturing facility approach automation and linear robotics.
What will the get started-up aspiration up future?
“Bridget the Breakfast Brunch Maker,” suggests Mr Chan, on BotsCom’s new robotic comprehensive-breakfast maker, which is synced with other automation enter to deliver a full breakfast with eggs, sausages and hash browns.
“We are also developing bartender robots which can move close to like a human bartender.”
Whilst most tech providers could draw inspiration from a down-to-earth muse, many others are pushed by more futuristic aspirations.
Area raise elements business To start with Action Elevator has introduced a new raise button panel that is a hologram.
Its Holographic Button Module hovers in mid-air – reminiscent of a scene straight out of George Lucas’ Star Wars – and is contactless. It will work with a mix of holographic technology and gentle sensors employing an Android-primarily based software package to detect the area of the user’s fingertip.
The technique has been on trial at Mapletree Industrial, situated at New Hello-Tech [email protected] Kallang Spot since Aug 1.
The module has piqued the curiosity of other residence proprietors checking out strategies to enrich the touch-no cost expertise in their own properties, claims enterprise director Alan Tang, 39.
It is established up conveniently for both standing end users as properly as those in wheelchairs and eradicates hygiene-relevant troubles, which are specifically related supplied the existing coronavirus pandemic. It charges among $6,000 and $9,000 to install, based on the quantity of flooring in the creating.
Whilst it is apparent style can elevate the human problem in a lot more means than one particular, can it also be enjoyable for these with disabilities?
Danish toy creation enterprise the Lego Group surely thinks so. The Lego Foundation and the Lego Group introduced a pilot of Braille Lego last yr.
Beginning this thirty day period, the new Lego Braille Bricks will be offered in seven nations around the world, followed by an additional 13 international locations early upcoming 12 months. Although Singapore is not on the list, there are options to introduce the notion to much more countries in the potential.
Each individual brick in the Lego Braille Bricks toolkit has studs arranged to correspond to quantities and letters in the Braille alphabet. The bricks also exhibit the printed model of the symbol or letter, permitting the two sighted and blind young children to enjoy and understand collectively.
According to Ms Stine Storm, Lego Foundation’s senior engage in and health and fitness professional, the bricks’ style and design was driven by the want to develop engage in experiences which allow innovative studying for all small children.
“Blind and visually disabled little ones have the similar need and have to have to investigate the planet as properly as socialise via enjoy,” claims Ms Storm.
“We hope to empower the neighborhood to drive the boundaries of their imaginations while sparking an desire in discovering Braille amid youngsters, to supply them the essential assist needed to come to be self-confident and independent navigators of the environment we reside in.”
Understand about assistive tech
From assistance in receiving the best digital assistant for the dwelling to accessing info about how to qualify for subsidies for assistive devices, the web-site of SG Empower, an company set up by the Governing administration to help people with disabilities, offers valuable methods.
In this article, you will uncover the Enabling Guideline, released in July past 12 months, which is a initially-end web page for persons with disabilities and their caregivers to get details and assets.
One more helpful resource is the Clever Property Systems for Independent Dwelling tutorial, which offers recommendations on how to hardwire the houses of people today with disabilities with smart home units that fit their distinctive desires and budgets.
Sensible home tech refers to virtual assistants that can realize verbal or app instructions to comply with guidelines or solution thoughts.
There is also action-by-stage information for rookies on how to set up good plugs that can be utilized in existing electricity sockets and controlled remotely by using an application or through a voice command.
The information is out there for down load from bit.ly/SGESmartHomeGuide.
Individually, the Enabling Manual website has information about SG Enable’s Assistive Know-how Fund, which provides people today with a subsidy of up to 90 per cent of the price tag of assistive technology equipment, issue to a life time cap of $40,000.
The fund can be applied to obtain, swap, upgrade or repair assistive technology devices, which includes wheelchairs and listening to aids suggested by therapists.
• For a entire checklist of expert services and facts on support for folks with disabilities and their caregivers, go to www.enablingguide.sg