'A to Z of assistive technology' detailed in new book

24 April, 2014

A new book by experts in biomedical engineering will provide valuable information to people with reduced abilities.

Through a partnership with the Transport Accident Commission, RMIT University's Professor Dinesh Kumar and his team received a research grant enabling them to investigate the development and application of assistive technology and to help those with reduced abilities improve their quality of life and reduce their dependence on others.

Devices for Mobility and Manipulation for People with Reduced Abilities, published in April, will provide clinicians, users, engineers, scientists, designers and other tech-savvy professionals much-needed assistance as they examine technologies for robotic wheelchairs and prostheses.

While the book highlights various mobility and manipulative technologies, it keeps terminology, equations and software details to a minimum and presents technical material in a digestible way.

"My co-authors and I had separately been working on various devices for many years and our collective knowledge on the subject was quite substantial," Professor Kumar said.

"At a major international conference on biosignals and biorobotics in Brazil in 2011, we decided to catalogue this knowledge and create an easy-to-use reference book on assistive technology."

Each chapter covers a specific technology, giving a general introduction and an assessment from the user viewpoint – including benefits, suitability, cost, reliability and required infrastructure.

The chapters also include illustrations or photographs of the devices, current research related to the technology, and possible development opportunities.

Professor Kumar, professor of biosignals and biomedical engineering at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and RMIT Research Fellow, Professor Sridhar Poosapadi Arjunan, collaborated with Teodiano Freire Bastos-Filho from the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil, to publish the book.

See also Smart Home provides assistive technology 'virtual experience'