Experts today are making the most of what technology can offer. For that reason, newer and advanced equipments, devices, and apps are created and introduced from time to time. And one of them is this state-of-the-art assistive wheelchair technology.
Prehensile Technologies, LLC, a Purdue startup dedicated to designing and developing assistive devices for differently-abled individuals, recently introduced the assistive wheelchair technology which they call as the “RoboDesk”. The company has just released its first prototype and has started to commercialize it.
Brad Duerstock, a Purdue University researcher and associate professor of engineering who practices at the Weldon School of Industrial Engineering and at the School of Biomedical Engineering, developed RoboDesk. He has been developing the technology at the Purdue Institute of Assistive Science for about four years already.
Brad designed and created the RoboDesk with the desire of helping wheelchair users study more easily in order to increase their employment opportunities. Though Brad knew that there are similar products already existing in the market, he is confident that the benefits are not the same.
The RoboDesk is an electric wheelchair tray which grants users a convenient and innovative access to mobile phones or mobile devices. By using a motorized arm, the technology can easily retract or deploy a tablet, an iPad or even a laptop computer whenever needed.
When the tray is not in use, the wheelchair user will not have to worry about it adding any width to the mobility device because the RoboDesk will sit out of the way near the chair’s rear wheel. And when needed, with a simple flick of a switch, the motorized arm can readily swing-out in order to position the tray in front of the user’s lap. After the tray is positioned, the user can adjust its tilt manually to suit or meet their requirements.
Brad, along with the startup’s co-founder and a fellow Purdue alumnus, Li Hwa Chong, is aiming to get RoboDesk licensed as well as manufactured within the next two-three years. Currently, they are busy fine-tuning the RoboDesk to be compatible with different types of electric and manual wheelchairs.