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Ability Make-a-Thon #4

  • Micheal Crouch Innovation Center UNSW Enter via gate 2 on High Street, Kensington, NSW Australia (map)

We are once again bringing together people with disabilities and makers to innovate Assistive devices. All projects are things used by people with disabilities all over the world, so if we can create an open-source design for these you have the opportunity to have a big, worldwide positive impact. 

Time: 9am - 4pm

Address: Micheal Crouch Innovation Centre @ University of New South Wales Kensington, NSW. Enter via gate 2 on High Street, Kensington. The location is on ground floor of Building E10

RSVP is essential! - RSVP here


This month we are following on with the problems we uncovered at previous events See below for description of projects. 

The Boccia Ramp  

We are working on a design that would let people who can't lean forward, play. Solving this won't only help Kylie who attended our event, the director of Boccia Australia has confirmed this is a big issue for a lot of good players not only Kylie.  Kylie's key issues are:

1. She's unable to release the ball from a lower position, so need a way to be able to slow the ball down.

2. She needs a way to line-up the ramp to aim the ball in the right direction. The $4000 ramp has a swivel which works well, but Kylie's wooden ramp does not.

3. She needs a way to ensure the ball runs as straight as possible after leaving the end of the ramp

The Switch/PC Interface

Per input from experts Kylie and Marusha, the draft requirements for a useful ability switch are: 

1. Shall be small so that it can be positioned in the hand. 

2. Shall be attachable to the hand, for example by a velcro strap, so that it does not fall off or misalign at any time. 

3. Shall activate when squeezed by the hand. 4. Shall activate when pressed or banged onto a surface. 

5. Should be usable as a hand attached or foot attached switch. 

6. Shall have Bluetooth capability in order to communicate with an iPad. 

7. Shall be wireless (no wires for communication or power) from the wheelchair to the iPad or PC. 

8. Shall be battery powered. 

9. Shall not need to be recharged more than once per day with normal usage, if powered by a rechargeable battery. 

10. Shall have a programmable / changeable function for the switch, for example a keyboard keypress, mouse click or media button. 

11. Shall have electronics and software that is reusable in alternative multi-switch ability switch designs. 

12. Shall be an open source design that can be constructed by makers using purchasable components or modules. 

3D Scanned/Printed Ankle Foot Orthotics

There are around 3000 people in NSW alone who need Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs). It can take 10 months just to get an appointment with a hospital, cost starting from $700 per foot, and take 2-3 more months to make the AFO!

We want to see if we can do better. On the day we want to see if we can 3D Scan and then 3D Print an AFO. We are very fortunate to be joined by a Physio Therapist specialising in Orthotics and a professional Orthotist who will guide us.

Ability Maker events are a great way to learn about design and technology. The events are really fun, we eat pancakes make long lasting friendships and help people have a more normal life.





Earlier Event: September 19
Show & Tell @ Makers Place Erskineville
Later Event: November 7
3D Printing Newtown!