Obi

Obi feeding device

Many of us agree that eating is one of life’s pleasures. Sitting down to a delicious meal with cherished friends or family is as about as life-affirming as it gets but what happens if you have a difficulty in eating independently?

Luckily there are a number of products that can assist with eating.  A new product called Obi works by automating the movement of the human arm, allowing the user to select food of their choice and dictate the pace at which the food is fed to them.

Obi allows the caregiver to quickly position the device for optimal use and modify the food delivery location for each user.

The Obi plate consists of 4 individual food compartments. The obi arm is controlled by two switches, one switch controls the compartment Obi picks up from and the other switch then picks up the food. The plate can be easily removed and cleaned and is also microwavable. Weighing just over 3 kilos and being equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery means that it can be taken anywhere

The distributor in Ireland is O’Neill Healthcare Ltd.

The good: Simple for the user to operate and it works really well.

The not so good: At €5,000, it’s a big price tag.

The verdict: If you can source the budget, it will give great independence around mealtimes.

Accessibility self-driving shuttle

Olli is an all-electric autonomous vehicle, packed with features to help people with disabilities

Olli by Local Motors (PRNewsfoto/Local Motors)

The future of autonomous vehicles where transport becomes more flexible, seamless and shareable between people and businesses for a variety of uses is getting closer.

There have been a number of concept autonomous vehicles that went on display at the latest CES tech show which is the global stage in Las Vegas where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.  Toyota unveiled its e-Palette autonomous shuttle, while the French company Navya demonstrated the Arma shuttle.

Accessible Olli was designed from the ground up to help people with disabilities get where they need to go.

Olli is an all-electric autonomous vehicle, packed with features to help people with disabilities and older people to get around.  There’s a retractable wheelchair ramp, software that can process sign language, and displays inside offering simplified information and reminders for people with cognitive disabilities like memory loss.

Accessible Olli will be road tested in a few months in places including Copenhagen and Buffalo, New York, and will offer a new approach to mass transit, in which a driverless shuttle could someday pick you up at any hour of the day.

The days of owning your own car could soon be over!

Accessible Apps, Games and Toys

range of children's toys

Enable Ireland’s National Assistive Technology Service has gathered together information on a range of accessible toys. It includes a variety of accessible games, apps, and toys. These are not recommendations but simply a selection of items which may be of interest, particularly at times such as Christmas and birthdays, when presents are high on the list of priorities.

Available here https://goo.gl/QpcD1z

Docking your tablet to make it more accessible

RAM Desktop Docking charger which provides data connectivity

Docking a portable device could have many useful benefits for some users.  Connecting a charger up to a device may be difficult for some individuals because of the size of connectors such as Micro USB or a Lightning connectors.  They can be hard to see and difficult to manipulate to the correct position.  With this docking station all you have to do is to drop the device into the docking station and it starts to charge.  The device is also held at an upright angle eliminating the need to hold the device.

The RAM Desktop Dock Charger with GDS Technology for IntelliSkin not only provides a protective cover for a device but when docked it also provides a data connection while charging.   More USB devices such a speaker system, keyboard and mouse can be connected to make your device more accessible.