The purpose of this development project is to support inventor and small company development of promising mobility-related technologies. Need for such support has been demonstrated within the current mobilityRERC and is consistent with conclusions from the Department of Commerce report. The project is designed to formalize engagement of inventors/small companies. It will establish a process through which the mobilityRERC will provide a basic level of support and guidance as well as more advanced development and testing to those with promising mobility products. Specifically, the process will include: 1) an informal brainstorming session addressing technical, market and user issues; 2) formal screening of device potential and RERC capacity to assist in development; 3) invitation to engage inventors/companies with promising technologies; and 4) product testing and/or development of promising technologies. Based on the types of inquiries and interactions over the past 4 ½ years, we anticipate that this program will engage at least 50 inventors/small companies in informal brainstorming with a minimum of 5 products undergoing formal testing and/or development.
Past inventor-driven meetings have included a wide array of presentations including a review of Assistek Mobility's ankle/foot walker and leg support seated walker, an accessible beach chair and a personal transport device for wheelchair users. MRERC staff have also been in contact with the developers of the Nextek low force handrim and are contracted to begin work with them to collect stakeholder input, perform short term evaluation of wheelchair mobility, perform a community-based evaluation of device usability, and document findings on their handrim.
This effort has resulted in two significant outcomes so far:
For more information on how to participate, please contact us: rearlab.coa.gatech.edu
Download the document "Process for inventor engagement with mobility RERC" for background information about the program (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).