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2017 care technology: The wheelchair that goes up and down steps and phone controlled by winking

Author: Leanna Aitken | Posted: 10th January 2017 | Category: General News


Inventors working to improve the lives of vulnerable people are competing in a Dragons’ Den style global competition.

Entries for the contest which pushes the boundaries of technology to benefit people with vulnerabilities, which have come from as far as Russia and China, have been separated into 9 finalists.

The winners of the Blackwood Design Awards are set to be announced on 20 January at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. This year, for the first time, it will be made up of two categories – Best New Product, in which there are four finalists, and Best New Concept, which has five shortlisted entries.

Unspillable spoon

Last year, inventor Grant Douglas saw his S’up Spoon product, an unspillable spoon to aid those with shaky hands due to cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s, win first prize.

He said:

“We entered Blackwood’s Design Awards last year as we share its aim to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible through designing accessible products in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

“Over the past nine months, the S’up Spoon has been featured on BBC One’s Songs of Praise. We’ve also donated 10 spoons to a voluntary organisation that helps disabled people in South Africa and it now has packaging so it can be sold in shops and is currently on sale via Amazon.”

Shortlisted entries

This year, the shortlisted entries include a brace for people who have either a weakness in the knee or an injury that impairs their ability to stand/walk independently and a FRIEASEL, which is a manoeuvrable canvas that can be adjusted so someone with severe disabilities can paint independently, which could have hugely therapeutic benefits.

Other contenders are a set of light-weight glasses for computer users who do not have the use of their arms. It remotely links to the computer and the mouth piece serves as a mouse. Biting down on it acts as a click. There is also a wheelchair that can go up and down steps and pavement edges as well as go up to cupboards and a phone you can control by winking.

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