I would like to take the opportunity to start a brainstorming style discussion regarding assistive technology, more specifically assistive technology that perhaps does not yet exist or requires improvements to be more useful and/or less costly.
I feel as though I should explain a little about me and where this is all coming from (appologies for the long post)…
The idea for this discussion is stemming from a perhaps slightly idealistic desire to help make the world a little better for those with disabilities, and perhaps in the future for myself… I also have ms. For me symptoms started at 17 with retrobulbar neuritis (which left permanent damage), and I was diagnosed 4 years later when things started to get fairly bad. I had a couple of years filled with what seemed like one relapse after another, with fairly slow recovery for most of them. This involved everything from sensory issues, tremor, loss of fine motor control in hands, pain, fatigue, ‘brain fog’, depression, bodily function issues and mobility problems. This led to me losing my job as I was unable to perform my duties.
It’s probably no surprise that this all hit me quite hard; I let it defeat me for quite a long time.
However I eventually learned how to cope and come to terms with it all (both physically and emotionally). Luckily the relentless relapse cycle was broken, with most of my symptoms fading.
This prompted me to steer my life and career path in a new direction. I finally got around to ending my gap ‘year’ (more like 4) after college, and I started a robotics degree.
I have spent the last few years working my way through the course, striving to do as well as I can. I am now taking a year out to do a research placement in a robotics laboratory. I am now beginning to think and plan which specific direction to steer my future career.
I am thinking that I would love to go into research involving medical assistive devices to help combat physical disabilities, and I have had some discussions with my supervisor regarding how to move onto doing a PhD.
So what I am looking for now is an idea to help open the doors that I need to make this happen.
I figure where better to get ideas than from the community that I would like to help!
To begin with I will need an idea to take through the ‘proof of concept’ phase while I develop my final year project, and if all goes well, with
a lot of work and luck, I might be able to find the funding and supervisors to turn it into a PhD.
Luckily the scope of my course content is quite extensive, so there are no bad ideas!
I look forward to any and all ideas,