Designing Suitable Assistive Technology for the Population with Motor Disabilities in Colombia
Assistive technology promotes a greater level of autonomy and favors social inclusion in people with motor disabilities. Product design of assistive technology should take into account the sociocultural aspects of potential users to provide effective solutions according to context requirements. The authors established a research line on the development of technology-based assistive solutions using an Expanded Model of Axiomatic Design. It is based on an interdisciplinary approach that puts the user at the center of the design process so as to effectively identify the needs of the users in context of Colombia, where violence is the main cause of motor disability. The authors designed a wheelchair for mobility and a rehabilitation station facility for supporting neural therapy. This research was the result of collaboration between Swiss and Colombian institutions, allowing the authors to develop and apply state-of-the-art technology tailored to the specific needs of the community. It also allowed the authors to strengthen the research capabilities of local institutions and establish a valuable test bed for transnational research in this field.
KeywordsTechnical System Social Inclusion Assistive Technology Design Team Expanded Model
This work has been supported by Colciencias and the Cooperation and Development Center (CODEV) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The authors would like to thank all the people who took part in the activities described here.
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