Posts Tagged ‘trabasack curve’

Robotic Wheelchair Tray

Robotic Wheelchair Tray

RoboDesk Wheelchair tray for tablet

RoboDesk in action

New research from Purdue University in Indiana has resulted in the development of a robotic wheelchair tray. This motorised wheelchair tray has been designed to make access to laptop computers and tablet devices easier for wheelchair users. The RoboDesk is made up of a motorised arm which deploys or retracts a tablet or small laptop computer when it’s needed.

When RoboDesk isn’t being used it sits safely out of the user’s way – positioned near the rear wheel and doesn’t add any further bulk to the wheelchair or cause any problems of manoeuvrability. The wheelchair can still function as normal and transferring in and out of the chair isn’t affected as the RoboDesk is kept out of the way. To access it the user can simply press a button and the arm will swing out and position the attached tray in front of the user’s lap. The tilt of the tray can then be manually adjusted for individual preferences and although the new design was developed as a wheelchair tray for tablet it could be used for more general purposes such as eating meals or for writing upon.

The inventor of the RoboDesk is Brad Duerstock who works in the Biomedical Engineering and School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue. His invention came from a desire to increase the employment opportunities of wheelchair users and from his research he discovered only 2% of people working in scientific industries aged 35 or younger lived with a disability and people with disabilities made up just 10.4% of the whole workforce. His research is US-based but the figures in the UK are probably very similar.

This video shows the RoboDesk in action and Duerstock is dedicated to getting the product licensed and manufactured within the next three years so it can be brought to market. His current development stage is focused on making the product more universal so it will work with a range of different wheelchairs.

Trabasack – A Budget Alternative

Trabasack Curve Connect Wheelchair Tray + Media Mount

Great Value Trabasack Wheelchair Tray for iPad

When RoboDesk makes it to market it’s clear it won’t be a budget product and unfortunately this is the case with many gadgets designed for accessibility – they simply aren’t affordable to all. Of course a budget alternative to RoboDesk, potentially whilst you’re waiting for its development and release, is the Trabasack.

Trabasack wheelchair trays are an attractive alternative to traditional wheelchair trays as they are functional and fashionable and easily moved for transfers. The tray is lightweight and provides the perfect surface for wheelchair access to an iPad as well as eating, drinking and writing. The Trabasack also comprises a bag compartment so you have somewhere safe and easily accessible to store your gadgets after use.

 

Wheelchair Trays and Their Accessories

Wheelchair Trays and Their Accessories

Our Product Range and Handy Extras

When you’ve found the perfect wheelchair tray for your needs, there are additional extras you could consider to enhance its usability even further. Our range of wheelchair trays not only gives you scope for choice when you’re initially choosing which tray suits you best but each has specific accessories which enhance its functionality. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.

Trabasack Curve

The Trabasack Curve Wheelchair Tray

The Original Trabasack Curve

The Curve was our original design. It brings together all the functions of a regular wheelchair tray but also includes a spacey bag compartment. The tray top is both sturdy and secure and allows for easy use when placed upon your lap. The product is extremely light weight and you can place it on your lap with ease and have instant access to whatever you may need. You can keep everything from your laptop to drinks and food atop the Trabasack tray surface and rest assured they’re perfectly safe. The leather look surface is also wipe-clean so you can clean up any spillages in seconds.

The product is designed with wheelchair users in mind with its ergonomic curved design hugging the contours of your body comfortably. Unlike other trays on the market the Curve fits perfectly to any lap and comes with a range of straps to help with security. You can also easily hang it from the back of your chair when not in use.

Trabasack Mini

Trabasack Mini Wheelchair Tray

The Compact and Versatile Mini Trabasack

Our Mini model includes all the top features of the Curve but is extremely compact and super lightweight. For use specifically with smaller multimedia devices such as iPads and other tablets, the Mini is the perfect business wheelchair tray. It weighs a tiny 700g and is perfect if you need a compact wheelchair tray you can easily store away when not in use.

The Mini also features a bag compartment and like the originally designed Curve sits comfortably on your lap without exerting any pressure.

Accessories for your Trabasack Mini

We recommend buying additional side straps to enhance your Mini Trabasack’s functionality. It comes fitted with two long straps for attaching around your waist or hanging from your chairs handles but if you want to secure it to your chair’s armrests, additional straps would be a good idea.

Connect Surface Models

Trabasack Curve Connect Wheelchair Tray + Media Mount

Trabasack Curve Connect + Media Mount

We have also developed both our Mini and Curve models to give you everything you’d expect from our original designs plus one innovative, additional extra. The wheelchair tray surface of the Connect models is coated in our unique Connect material. It’s super soft and designed so you can attach and secure items to your tray top safely. It uses hook and loop technology and is a great option if you travel regularly and need items to be held in place whilst you move over difficult surfaces and navigate public transport.

The Curve Connect can also be personalised with a coloured trim and comes with a range of straps to attach it to your chair. The Mini Connect is equipped with two long straps so as above you may decide additional side straps are a worthwhile purchase.

Accessories for your Trabasack Curve or Mini Connect

Hook Tapes

We recommend purchasing great value Trabasack Hook Tapes with your Curve Connect. These hook tapes are self-adhesive and allow you to use the Velcro receptive surface of your wheelchair tray immediately.

Trabasack Media Mount

This is our newest development and it has been very successful. It is a fully functional mounting device which can support media devices in use with your wheelchair tray. It can hold any device at the right angle for use ad can also be wrapped around specific items to secure them in place.

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Trabasack Curve Review

Trabasack Review by blogger LatentExistence

After using trabasack for his film about problems with pavements and powerchairs, blogger Steven Sumpter was kind enough to do a full review of Trabasack Curve, using it as a general powerchair tray, a netbook bag and as a bed tray.

The review can be seen on Steven’s blog here Trabasack Product Review, but I have also copied it below.

Activist Blogger Steven Sumpter with Trabasack Powerchair tray

Steven Sumpter with a Trabasack as seen in 'A Short Film about Pavements'

 

 

If you watched my film “A short film about pavements” then you will have seen the tray that was on my lap during filming. That tray is called a Trabasack, and it is actually a lap-desk and a bag in one. I have been using an Original Trabasack Curve for a couple of weeks. It consists of a leather feel tray, with a cushioned rim running around it. On the other side there is a bean bag which allows it to sit comfortably on your lap. A zip allows access to the section between the two so that it can be used as a bag.

Since it has two functions, I will address them one at a time. First of all, as a bag. The zip goes nearly all the way around the Trabasack, allowing it to open all the way up if you like. There is one main compartment inside. There is a pocket with a zip on one side, but that contains the bean bag and is not usable for other storage.

Trabasack front showing zip

Trabasack Curve has two easy to use ring pull zips.

The actual compartment is smaller than I would like but probably as large as is practical. I was able to store a 10″ netbook computer inside, and had enough space for a few other bits and pieces. Since I am in the habit of carrying all sorts of gadgetry as well as pills and inhalers, my normal choice of bag – a messenger bag – has lots of pockets to keep everything tidy. Unfortunately the Trabasack doesn’t have that. A nice future improvement might be an elastic strap and / or a mesh pocket to keep my netbook charger cable tidy and secure my pills to the sides. Those complaints aside, the bag is perfectly adequate to carry what I need when out, such as wallet, medicines, phone, keys, and netbook.

For carrying, there are several choices. The bag has two handles and can easily carried by hand. It also comes with two long straps and two short straps, and six loops to allow the straps to be attached in various places. Using these straps it can be configured with a shoulder strap or worn as a rucksack. It can also be easily secured when using it in a wheelchair. The two short straps can be looped around the arms or frame of the chair and attached to the side rings of the bag, or a long strap can go all the way around the waist. Either way, it is very secure when used in this way, as demonstrated in my film.

A netbook on a TrabasackA Trabasack in use holding a netbook

So what is it like as a tray? I would say pretty good. I have been using it indoors to hold my netbook (which otherwise can toast a lap inside 30 seconds) and it does a good job. The beanbag helps it mould to the shape of my lap and sit securely. I have used it both in bed and while sitting on the sofa. It’s also good for a mug of coffee or a plate. I had previously used a wooden tray for this but I always had problems with the sides of the tray digging into my arm because I don’t always have the strength to lift my arm up over the edge when picking up my mug. With the Trabasack this isn’t a problem since it doesn’t have a raised edge on the side facing the person using it. The only reservation I have in using the tray for hot drinks is that I don’t want to spill anything on it.

I actually used the Trabasack as a platform to rest my camera on while filming from my powerchair. It provided a steady surface and the raised edge helped prevent the camera from slipping off during the bumpy bits.

The Trabasack is also available as a smaller Trabasack Mini, and interestingly, both are available in the “Connect” version which has a soft velcro surface to which your possessions can be fixed by sticking velcro hook-tape to them. I didn’t go for this as I don’t really like the idea of sticking anything to my gadgets, but the option will definitely be useful to many.

Overall the Trabasack is pretty good. It’s even more handy if you are a powerchair user, and like me you end up carrying your bag on your lap. (Why don’t powerchairs have bag holders under the seat???) I initially thought that £40 was quite a steep price for it, but given that it serves two functions, and that my messenger bag cost thirty quid on it’s own, that’s actually not bad. If you need further convincing, an extra use that I have discovered for the Trabasack is that it can be used as a handy pillow if I need to take an unscheduled rest while out and only have a floor or a bench!

The Trabasack can be found on their website, www.trabasack.co.uk at a cost of £39.95. ”

 

We are very grateful to Steven for his honest and thoughtful review. Other reviews of trabasack can be found here.