Designing Suitable Assistive Technology for the Population with Motor Disabilities in Colombia

  • Ricardo ChavarriagaEmail author
  • Manuel Valencia
  • Maria Hurtado
  • Marcela Bolaños
  • Jaime Aguilar-Zambrano
Conference paper


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.


Technical System Social Inclusion Assistive Technology Design Team Expanded Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Chavarriaga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuel Valencia
    • 2
  • Maria Hurtado
    • 3
  • Marcela Bolaños
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jaime Aguilar-Zambrano
    • 2
  1. 1.Defitech Foundation Chair in Non-Invasive Brain-Machine InterfaceEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Pontificia Universidad JaverianaCaliColombia
  3. 3.Universidad del ValleCaliColombia
  4. 4.Centro de Neurorehabilitación SURGIRCaliColombia

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