Posts Tagged ‘wheelchair tray’

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.