University College London is to co-lead a research initiative in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, in the development of wheelchair accessible maps for of Delhi, India. Research conducted by the Global Disability Innovation Hub are describing the platform as Rehab and it has been conceptualised with an innovative sensor.

University College London has developed sensors that have a low-cost base and are designed to identify features of a footpath or pavement. This will allow mapping to decide how a wheelchair user might be able to traverse the area.

“Infrastructure in India can often make pushing a wheelchair or tricycle difficult. We’re trying to identify how people are currently getting around in Delhi, to find new ways of facilitating rehabilitation and identifying ways to improve infrastructure,” said Dr Catherine Holloway (UCL Interaction Centre), the Academic Director of the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), as per an official press release.

India is keen to develop assistive technologies which empower people with disabilities. It is hoped that this will redress the balance to achieve social an economic inclusion. The project has recruited the help of local non-governmental organisations in an attempt to derive an insight as to how an accessibility app might improve the lives of a wheelchair user.

The Rehab project is associated with a £10 million aid package supplied by the British Government as part of its international development strategy. Known as the GDI Hub, it aims to bring assistive technologies to Delhi and expand the project to Nairobi in the coming years. Further information on the work of Global Disability Innovation Hub may be found by visiting their website

Michael Holden

Michael Holden

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