Technology to assist the disabled

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on July 28, 2011 Published on July 28, 2011

disabled   -  Business Line

A voice-activated wheelchair, a sensor-based walking stick, an easy interface for the computer. These are just a few of the technology products that will provide relief to the disabled and help them connect better to the world around them.

And wait, these are gadgets not out of our national laboratories, but designed and developed by engineering students. They, along with about 20 other products will be showcased at the three-dayntional conference on Assistive Technology-2011 tomorrow.

Being hosted by the Padmasri BV Raju Institute of Technology (BVRIT), at Vishnupur in Medak district, the conference will see participation from TCS, Texas Instruments, Barrier Break Technologies, Mumbai and Ability Foundation, Chennai. In addition, Prof. Alan Rux and a few students from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, US, will also demonstrate some initiatives.

The BVRIT has set up an Assistive Technology Lab (ATL), with active support from the Massachusetts University with an investment of Rs 1.5 crore. Engineering students have developed these products as part of their project work, said Mr K.V. Vishnu Raju, Chairman of the Sri Vishnu Educational Society.

About 500 students are involved in various projects. One of the project, an electric nano made by college student with the participation of a few US students would be presented at the exhibition, he told newspersons today.

Prof. Alan Rux of the US University said since 2009, the partnership with BVRIT and India was growing in their efforts to develop products for the disabled. “It is pertinent to reach to the disabled community, find out their needs and design products. This was what we did in the US. There is also a need to interface wit the medical community to shape technology for mass use,” he said.

Mr Raju said the Society-run women's college in Bhimavaram in coastal Andhra with nearly 10,000 students and six disciplines would be converted into a deemed university in 2013. “We have taken the necessary steps with the UGC for the purpose. In fact, the college is bigger in strength than the Sri Padmavathi Mahila University in Tirupati,” he said.

There are 3, 000 students and 75 faculty staying in hostels in the campus. It is spread over 1,000 acres and girl students are involved in various projects that outreach the community, he said.

Published on July 28, 2011
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