to Dec 2


Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 3.29.32 PM.png

3D Republika, ICT Hub i Garage Lab s ponosom predstavljaju TOM:Belgrade mejkaton. Jedinstveni događaj koji za cilj ima da u intenzivna tri dana kreira pristupačna rešenja za probleme osoba s invaliditetom.

Sam mejkaton okuplja osobe s raznim veštinama u rešavanju problema razvojem hardverskih i softverskih rešenja (Meakers), kao i osobe s ekstenzivnim znanjem i razumevanjem problema osoba s invaliditetom (Need Knowers). Oni zajedno čine timove koji imaju zadatak da na kreativan način reše specifične probleme osoba s invaliditetom.

Pridružite se grupi talentovanih individualaca na tri fantastična dana u mejkerskom prostoru Centra za promociju nauke u razvoju prototipa koji će uticati na mnoge živote. 

Posetite zvaničnu stranicu TOM:Belgrade i saznajte detaljne informacije:

View Event →

TOM:Colombia 2018
to Oct 6

TOM:Colombia 2018

TOM: Colombia 2018

Organizer: Hector Londoño

TOM es un movimiento global de las comunidades que conecta a Diseñadores, diseñadores, desarrolladores e ingenieros con personas con discapacidades. Los diseños quedan gratis y de dominio público y cualquier persona lo puede adaptar a sus necesidades.

PreTOM: Que se anunciará pronto

Makeathon: Octubre 4-6, 2018

Demo Day: Que se anunciará pronto

PostTOM: Que se anunciará pronto

View Event →
TOM:Anahuac Mexico City 2018
to Sep 23

TOM:Anahuac Mexico City 2018

Organizer: Claudia Dorenbaum

TOM:Mexico City


Que es TOM? Es un movimiento Global de comunidades que conecta a  Makers, (diseñadores, ingenieros, desarrolladores) con personas con discapacidad (Conocedores o Need Knowers) y así desarrollar juntos, a través de la tecnología, 
soluciones para la vida cotidiana de cada uno.

Makeathon, El evento de 72 horas.

View Event →
TOM:2.0 2018
to Mar 15

TOM:2.0 2018

We are ready to take TOM to the next level and are launching TOM 2.0 with a Makeathon focused on preparing prototype solutions for replication by bringing together experts in manufacturing and product development with 5 teams who have developed successful prototypes.

We will test this new part of our process at Impact Labs in Tel Aviv, learn from it and then release the model to other locations.

View Event →
TOM:Vanderbilt 2017
to Jan 21

TOM:Vanderbilt 2017

Untitled design (16).png


Bradley Schwartz

This year, TOM:Vanderbilt will be hosting our first annual TOM Makeathon at the exciting new Vanderbilt Innovation Center, from January 19-21! There are a ton of ways to get involved, which you can find all across this site. Know someone who loves to tinker? Send them our way and apply to be a maker! Have a challenge which you think we could solve? Submit it in the Need Knowers application. We also welcome volunteers for the event itself and direct donations to our GoFundMe page. 

Key Dates!
Call for Talent and Call for Challenge: Closing November 12
Makeathon: January 19-21 at Vanderbilt Innovation Center, 2415 Garland Ave Nashville TN
Closing Ceremony: January 21, more details coming soon!

View Event →
TOM:Melbourne 2017
to Dec 3

TOM:Melbourne 2017


Organizer: Kylie Appel

TOM: Melbourne is proudly brought to you by Debbie Dadon AM and Israel Trade Commission in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology and Flying Fox.

During the 72 hour Makeathon team will develop hardware and software product prototypes designed to meet needs that people with disabilities identify are important to them. By bringing together people who understand the needs (‘Need-Knowers’) alongside engineers, designers, developers and makers, and providing a space for innovation and prototyping, we will create solutions, make new connections and share unique experiences.

Join a group of talented individuals for three amazing days to experience how tinkering and technology can impact lives.

Key Dates!
Call for Talent and Call for Challenge:
Applications close September 8
PreTOM: October 25 at 6.00PM in ATC 101-103, Swinburne University of Technology, Swinburne Innovation Precinct Advanced Technologies Centre 401-451 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 3122
Makeathon: December 1-3 at Swinburne University of Technology, Swinburne Innovation Precinct Advanced Technologies Centre 401-451 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 3122
Closing Event: December 3, details coming soon!

View Event →
TOM: Queensland 2017
to Nov 26

TOM: Queensland 2017



Organizer: Damian Tracey

Key Dates!
Call for Talent and Call for Challenge
- Open until October 2
PreTOM - October 23rd
Makeathon - November 23-26, Community Lifestyle Support - 26 Ashfield Rd Bundaberg
Closing Ceremony - November 26, Community Lifestyle Support - 26 Ashfield Rd Bundaberg

View Event →
TOM:Mexico 2017
to Nov 13

TOM:Mexico 2017

Untitled design (13).png


Organizer: Claudia Dorenbaum

Que es TOM? Es un movimiento Global de comunidades que conecta a  Makers, (diseñadores, ingenieros, desarrolladores) con personas con discapacidad (Conocedores o Need Knowers) y así desarrollar juntos, a través de la tecnología, 
soluciones para la vida cotidiana de cada uno.

PreTOM, 31 de agosto de 7:45AM-1:00PM
CRIT Estado de México Av Gustavo Baz Prada 219 colonia San Pedro Barrientos

Makeathon, El evento de 72 horas tendrá lugar en el Centro Deportivo Israelita
entre el 11 y el 13 de novembre. Nos reuniremos a las 8:00 a.m. Y terminaremos con una ceremonia de clausura.

Demo Day, 13 de novembre a las 8:00 a.m

PostTOM, para ser programado

View Event →
TOM:Uruguay 2017
to Nov 12

TOM:Uruguay 2017


Organizer, Bebo Gold

Key Dates:
Call for Talent & Call for Challenge: Apply Now!

PreTOM: October 9 at " Parque Industrial Tecnológico del Cerro¨ (Haiti 1500, 12800 Montevideo, Uruguay)
Makeathon: November 10-12 at "Parque Industrial Tecnológico del Cerro" (Haiti 1500, 12800 Montevideo, Uruguay).
Demo Day: November 12 at "Parque Industrial Tecnológico del Cerro" (Haiti 1500, 12800 Montevideo, Uruguay)
PostTOM: Date and location TBD

View Event →
TOM:Colombia 2017
to Oct 7

TOM:Colombia 2017


TOM es un movimiento global de las comunidades que conecta a Diseñadores, diseñadores, desarrolladores e ingenieros con personas con discapacidades. Los diseños quedan gratis y de dominio público y cualquier persona lo puede adaptar a sus necesidades.

PreTOM: Que se anunciará pronto

Makeathon: Octubre 5-7, 2017

Demo Day: Que se anunciará pronto

PostTOM: Que se anunciará pronto

View Event →
TOM:Alberta 2017
to Aug 27

TOM:Alberta 2017


Kathryn Simone

Three-day makeathon creates specialized solutions for people with disabilities

Article by: Brian Cechmanek

The TOM:Calgary, run by local non-profit Kadima Dynamics, proudly celebrated Calgary’s spirit of innovation at its third annual makeathon event. Local engineers and designers (‘Makers’) collaborated with people living with disability (‘Need-Knowers’) to create real-life solutions for their everyday challenges.

From August 24-27, 13 teams of 4-6 individuals, hailing from communities across Alberta, came together for a continuous 72 hours of designing, testing, and building. They had access to fabrication equipment, materials, mentors, and not-quite-enough coffee. With the help of community sponsors, TOM was able to provide just enough of a budget for each team to create inclusive, affordable, and yet still innovative prototypes.

The challenges being tackled were suggested by Need-Knowers prior to the event, based on real problems they face that are often unaddressed by industry. These challenges are invisible to the public, either because they are highly specialized to the Need-Knower, or because the solutions that do exist are inaccessibly expensive. To address these issues, TOM gathers Makers from university students and industry professionals, including experts, mentors, and machinists.

The solutions developed by TOM’s Makers this year include a modified tricycle for a double lower-leg amputee, a remote blood glucose monitor for a young boy with diabetes, and a hands-free neck brace. TOM takes on challenges requiring 3D printing, machining, welding, programming, and sometimes even big data analysis. One such project (an ongoing initiative) is using Cybera’s Rapid Access Cloud to analyze terabytes of EEG (electroencephalography) data to better predict, and eventually avoid, severe migraine attacks.

TOM:Calgary 2017 proudly partnered with the Neil Squire Society and Makers Making Change to host a mini-buildathon, where high school students and undergraduates learned to solder together a Lipsync™ module. This mouth-operated joystick system is designed to assist users with limited use of their arms to operate a smartphone. All 20 devices that were created in just one weekend will be donated to users here in Calgary.


‘Tikkun Olam’ is a Hebrew concept that means “repairing the world”, which stresses our responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it. Kadima, through TOM makeathons and other initiatives, wants to make Calgary the North American hub of inclusive design and technology. All prototypes developed at TOM makeathons have their designs uploaded to an open-source global repository, so that ideas can be freely proliferated and improved upon.

View Event →
TOM:Kazakhstan 2017
to Jun 18

TOM:Kazakhstan 2017


Organizers: Saniya Arapova

Valentina was only 25 years old when she suffered a stroke and lost her ability to walk independently. Valentina had a dream, to walk again. The team of students at TOM:Kazakhstan designed a full-body rehabilitative exoskeleton using orthotics available on the market. On the second day of the Makeathon, Valentina walked unassisted for the first time in 15 years. She promises to continue to use the exoskeleton and hopes with time, she will be able to regain her independence.

Alina and Irina both have CP. Living on their own for the first time is exciting, but they find some household activities somewhat challenging. The team designed a mop which is anchored with a cane so they have extra support to clean without falling or slipping. 

Azat is studying applied mathematics and hopes to one day become a computer programmer. Born with CP, Azat finds it difficult to type (or code) comfortably on the computer. The team designed a rolling shelf to rest his hands so he can use the keyboard easier. The team also prototyped a voice controlled “Robot Manipulator” that will be able to help Azat do things around the house. 

Bilayof came to TOM:Kazakhstan wearing an antiquated prosthetic shoe which caused tremendous pain and discomfort to his residual limb. The team from the Engineering and Economic University in Southern Kazakhstan looked at solutions available in the United States and designed a socket that holds the base of his foot and redesigned the shoe with more flexible-lightweight material. After trying on the new shoes, Bilayof walked for the first time pain-free and without a cane.

At 68 years old, Galina came to TOM:Kazakhstan to find a way to make her heavy below-knee prosthesis more comfortable in the summer. In addition to the weight, Galina was fitted with a full leg sock and waist belt which was very warm with the rising temperatures. The team used a combination of aluminum and fiberglass to build a new prosthesis, the team then creatively created a more flexible foot by repurposing a bike seat, and completed the design by attaching an orthotic knee brace to hold the prosthesis more comfortably. The team hopes to continue development of the solution to achieve a better fit for Galina.

At the closing gala, Igor wow’ed audiences with an graceful and passionate wheelchair Tango with his dance partner and friend Irina. Born with CP, Igor finds daily living to be challenging, many of his movements are abrupt and it difficult to do everything he wants to do by himself. The team designed a machine to help Igor eat easier and more independently.

Tatyana uses a wheelchair and needs to rely on her husband to reach things from high shelves. The team designed a wardrobe that rotates with the touch of a button, allowing Tatyana to access everything she needs.

View Event →
TOM:Porto 2017
to Jun 3

TOM:Porto 2017

TOM: Porto Challenges:
June 2-3, 2017
10 Challenges
52 Participants


At 40, Carlos uses crutches and finds that they they aren’t really comfortable for daily life. The team took a look the way crutches are designed and created the perfect crutches: foldable (better than what is out there), can lean on the table when not in use, and can help him get up and stand.



Pedro plays golf using a golf wheelchair that enable him to stand and play. But he still lacks the body range and flexibility to comfortably hit the ball. The team created a maneuver plate for Pedro's seat with springs, that allows him to have the extra movement he needs for golfing.



Manuel has CP and uses a keyboard grid for his daily PC use - sometimes, Manuel needs to use a Mac but there aren’t any grids available on the market. The team created a Mac grid by laser cutting plastic and cork. They even added a Dragon design to make it personalized.



Márcio uses a urinary leg bag and was looking for an easy way to empty it. The team created a 3D printed valve opener with handles for him. For future development the team wish to fit the bag properly and to have better handles for pulling and opening the valve.



Tiago is a fitness instructor at a local gym. One of his clients is blind - but the gym is not accessible. The team created a cart with sensors that maps the gym and can lead the client from station to station easily and safely. Tiago’s hope is that this solution can be replicated in other gyms, enabling blind people to train and stay fit everywhere in the world.



Eduardo usually uses a wheelchair since he doesn't have the core body strength needed to walk. In the past, he used a walker but it didn’t fit him properly. The team adjusted a walker for less than 200 euro and are hoping to continue to adapt and drive the cost down, making the adjustments more affordable.



Isabel uses an electric wheelchair with head joystick and she would like to also operate her computer using the same joystick. The team “hacked” a joystick using an arduino to operate her computer and her smartphone. Now she can use the same joystick to operate her chair, computer and phone.



Carlos is in his late 20s and uses an electric wheelchair. He would like to be able stand to improve his blood circulation. The team created an exoskeleton for him, using a metal structure, arduino, rechargeable batteries and fence engines.




Manuela loves going to concerts - but when she uses her manual wheelchair, she cannot see over the big crowd. The team created a concept solution, a seat that can be raised using a manual mechanism.  



Filipe is a physiotherapist, working in the ALS association in Porto. He came to TOM hoping to solve drop-foot for his patients when they walk. The team created a moveable splint for him using a plastic cast and arduino.

View Event →
TOM:UCI 2017
to Apr 30

TOM:UCI 2017

TOM: UCI, Challenges and Solutions

Challenge: Retractable Umbrella for Wheelchairs

Unfortunately, although there have been a lot of technological advancements in our time, there seems to be no solution or devices specifically for those in wheelchairs to complete simple obstacles. Bhumit Shah is 35 year-old need-knower born with cerebral palsy, which is a lifelong neurological disorder that impairs mobility so in his unique case, he must use a wheelchair. Since he must operate a wheelchair with one arm, that only leaves another free to carry objects. The challenge was to create a universal umbrella device that will be able to accompany and accommodate wheelchair users.  This umbrella device should be easily retractable and deflatable, therefore Bhumit can motor his wheelchair without have to hold an umbrella as well.

Solution: Team “Chairway to Heaven” created an umbrella extension for Bhumit’s wheelchair that was able to extend to its full length or close to a collapsable unit. Utilizing a magnetic attachment on his wheelchair, the spherical umbrella hood could stay secured and cover Bhumit entirely while it rains. In addition to this lightweight and ergonomical invention, it could be removed at any time for the sunny days in California and reattached with ease.


Challenge: Manual Zipper

In 2007, our need-knower Kelly Lai suffered from a stroke after an aneurysm surgery. The stroke left her hemiparesis which means she lost all sensation and feeling on her left side. As a 51 year-old mother of two, Kelly has now been put into an unexpected situation that is more difficult than imagined. Not only did her two children have to look after her but her whole life became one challenge after another. For the TOM engineers, the challenge was to create a device that would help Kelly zip her jackets using only her right arm. Likewise, unable to easily maneuver, Kelly has difficulty picking herself up when she falls once a month. The second device that our engineers are hoping to create would help pick herself up without any assistance.

Solution: The team created 2 solutions for our need-knower Kelly Lai to help her with daily activities. First, they created a short, tri-pod device that could aid Kelly in picking herself up when she falls. Created with the user in mind, this unique device had a rubber grip customized for Kelly’s palm and engineered to a specific angle that provided support for her right arm. The team also designed a modified, double-sided clip that would attach onto her jackets and aid Kelly in zipping up her coats using just one arm. Although this clip may appear simple, it worked remarkably when tested by Kelly and will save her a lot of time in the future.


Challenge: Laundry and Oven Helper

Our need-knower, Elizabeth Campbell is 24 years old, and was born with Achondroplasia which is the most common form of skeletal dwarfism. In America, there are 1 in 40,000 cases of dwarfism a year. She is 3’10” and has arms and legs disproportionately shorter than her torso and body which is makes it difficult for her to access objects anything beyond her arm expansion. The challenge for our engineers is to create a device that aids Elizabeth when she is loading, and unloading the laundry and oven as they are out of her reach. When utilizing the top-loading washing machine, she cannot grab the items at the bottom of the barrel. In addition, Elizabeth has trouble reaching into the hot oven and pulling out heavy dishes, therefore she is forced to balance herself from the side of the oven at awkward angles. While trying to avoid falling, burning herself and causing any damages to her surroundings, cooking has proven to be a difficult task for Elizabeth.

Solution: To help our friend Elizabeth, the team engineered two devices to fit her needs. The team first designed an extended clamper that hooks onto fishnet-like bags that would hold her clothing in the washing machine. The process would be quite simple: she would place her clothing in these fishnet type bags, place them in the washing machine and when they are complete, scoop out the bags using the clamp that hooks onto the strings of the bag easily. Secondly, the team designed a prototype that would aid Elizabeth when utilizing a hot oven. They created a rollable table that would sit in front of her oven and she could slide her hot objects onto the table, allow it to cool, and avoid burning herself entirely. This device could also be stored away easily due to the rollable wheels and collapsible design.


Challenge: Kinnari, is a 40 year old woman who suffers from an inability to apply her compression socks. Many patients like Kinnari, have fused ankles, sensitive wounds, pain thus unable to fully extend the foot to use a device called a “donning aid”. A donning aid has proven to be inefficient for overweight patients as they are unable to reach their feet and pull the sock up to their knee. The challenge for our team is to create an easier method for users to easily apply this sock on a daily basis. The intended design is to create a more flexible device that is able to expand and elongate when necessary and with ease.

Solution: Team “We Sock” improved an existing, common device called the donning aid-- that had 3 main limitations that prevented users with a high BMI from using it. These limitations of the traditional design included that heavier users cannot bend over complete to grab fixated handles, therefore the team created an expandable and adjustable handle so the user will not have to bend over. Secondly, the original donning aid had a fixed, metal frame, therefore it cannot expand the opening of the sock efficiently. The team wanted to maximize the diameter of the compression sock at every point possible so that it can suit every leg size. The new device is able to exert more force on the sock, therefore it can open the diameter larger and mold itself to the user. The third limitation is that users with a fused ankle have limited ankle flexibility therefore making it difficult for them to point their toes and put it in the sock; the final product has 2 flexible, donning pillars that are able to yield to any width for the sock and adjust to the user accordingly.


Challenge: The unique challenge for our final team was to create a medical device that will allow people with a knee disability to kneel without applying pressure to the patella, rather diverting that weight to the shins. Our need-knower who is also our maker, Yori Neumark wanted to engineer a product that will fit his needs. Yori is a 64 year old, Informational Technology professional that is required to spend a majority of his time bending down onto his knee to fix equipment  on the floor. He also participates in many activities such as paddle boarding that made it difficult to pick himself up without aid or further damaging his kneecaps. This versatile device will be a solution that can be applicable to any profession or occupation who spends excessive time utilizing their knees.

Solution: The team, “Knee-vater”, created a knee attachment for those with chronic knee sensitivity. With cushioned padding for the shins and an angled surface for maximum productivity, this device can be strapped on utilizing back buckles and provide support for those who kneel often. This product is engineered to reduce pressure on the knees and place more emphasis on the shins which are stronger. Furthermore, the lightweight padding and wooden bottom allows people to mobilize with ease while working.

View Event →
TOM:Northwestern University 2017
to Apr 30

TOM:Northwestern University 2017

TOM:Northwestern University was organized by Gal Ben Dor and Guy Zeltser, both students at Kellogg School of Management in partnership with Motorola Mobility Foundation, Israel Education Center, Makerbot, Kellogg IDEA, Inventables, The Consulate General of Israel, Uber and Bag Tags.

TOM:Northwestern is part of TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers (, founded by the Reut Group in Israel as a global movement of locally organized communities bringing together Makers, designers, developers and engineers and people with disabilities to develop solutions for everyday challenges.

This new and locally organized community was launched by TOM as part of an initiative sponsored by the Jim Joseph Foundation to mobilize communities on college campus across the United States. Other TOM Communities are active across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Israel, Vietnam, Bulgaria and Australia - with communities launching in the next few months in Kazakhstan, Spain, and Portugal. 

All the solutions developed by the TOM Community are available in the public domain, free for other users to take the designs and adapt them for their needs - by helping one user here at Northwestern, you can help many users around the world.

Team Zayne

Zayne is a huge Cubs fan and has been playing in his local baseball league for a while, he has a powerful arm and great aim, but when it comes to catching a ball, this is where Zayne ran into some challenges. 6 year old Zayne is one of only 33 people in the world with Ulnar agenesis with only 2 fingers on his left hand and three fingers on his right. He and his mom traveled from Mobile, Alabama for TOM:Northwestern because Zayne wanted to be able to play baseball like his friends. Zayne was the all-star member of Team Zayne, trying out designs and showing off his catching skills throughout the 48 hour Makeathon. After a few design iterations, the team realized that he can fit his right hand into the thumb of a left handed glove - and the team is adapting the glove to be more comfortable for him and widening the “net” so he has more space to catch the ball! 

Zayne is very active 6 year old with Ulnar agenesis, he was born with two fingers and a shorter thumb on his right hand. The team designed 3D printed prosthetic thumb to improve and extend his grip. 

** For all our e-NABLE community members, the team did try e-NABLE designs but they did not work for Zayne’s needs because he has fusion in both elbows and is missing muscle in his palm. I would love if Jon Schull can take a look at photos and perhaps he has other ideas.

*** The team is continuing design to add an extra digit (finger), they tried a solution to put the 3D printed finger into a glove with the thought that if he bends one finger, they all bend. The prototype wasn’t completely successful by the end of the Makeathon and the team plans to continue working with Zayne to get the design working. 

Teams Hans

Hans, is 19 months old and has Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy. While most kids his age are exploring the world, he is confined to the arms of one of his parents. Even though he can’t crawl, he loves moving around and he let’s his parents know where he wants to go and what he wants to see! The team explored many crawling and walking design ideas - but after discussing with both Han’s parents and physical therapist, they realized that mobility was the key and they needed to make a motorized chair for him. The chair has interchangeable parts, velcroed down, depending on Han’s abilities and his size - with options for him to sit in a tumble form chair or on his parent’s lap, as well as button and joystick controls depending on his ability. Of course safety always comes first, so the chair is designed with both bumpers and sensors that stop the chair from running into walls.

Team Chris

What if you were in the middle of phone call, dropped your phone and had to wait until the end of the day for someone to come over to pick the phone back up? Chris suffered  a C6 spinal cord injury when he was 16 years old and has very limited motion below his arms. So when he drops his TV remote, home phone, cell phone or keys - he either spends up to 20 minutes with a DIY hanger hook trying to pick up the item or waits until a caregiver arrives at the end of the day. The team designed a grabber that is initiated by wrist extension (flicking the wrist). In addition to grabbing, the grabber is outfitted with magnets and a hook for added functionality and to grab other items that fall. 

Team Bob

Bob Ness was the video producer at TOM:Northwestern and has been working in video production for the past 20+ years. Bob is quadriplegic and hires a cameraman to film while he directs. While it has become easier to work in the industry as everything has become digital, the only thing he hasn’t been able to do is use the physical camera. The team used existing products and components and adapted a camera tripod mounted to a lamp to counterbalance the weight of the camera - that allows him to position his camera anywhere in space. He can now lift up-down, side-to-side, tilt and change the angle of the camera. They introduced a stabilizer that keeps the camera level with the horizon at all times to deal with uneven terrain. The camera will be controlled by an existing Sony app which has all features to film by remote operation. The highlight for the team was watching Bob film the closing event!

Team Darcy

Darcy has her PhD in Molecular Biology, works at the University of Chicago as a Regulatory Manager, is a runner and world traveler. Diagnosed at the age of 3 with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes the body  to attack itself - she is blind in one eye and vision impaired in the other. When it comes to exploring new places, Darcy finds that she either doesn’t go to a place she isn’t familiar with, plans everything out in advance, or ends up in a very anxious situation on street corner trying to figure out where she is. The team designed two new solutions: They created the “Street Nav” app using her GPS location that lets Darcy know what street, intersection or address she is approaching. The team also created “Street Sight”, a GoPro interface that takes photos to her phone every 2-3 seconds so she can discretely zoom in on street signs, car plates, bus schedules - and anything else she would like to get a better look at. 

Team Victoria

Victoria is in her 30s and is the middle of her Masters Degree at the Art Institute of Chicago. Victoria has relapsing MS and uses a wheelchair. A designer and thoughtful about Making, Victoria presented her challenge around getting in and out of bed. Existing solutions are expensive and require her to anchor a lift into the ceiling of her bedroom; and depending on a caregiver is not a reliable and it has affected her ability to get to school. Victoria underwent emergency surgery days before the Makeathon and was not able to attend in person, instead she joined on skype providing critical feedback to the team. The new lift functions like a hoyer lift which allows her to lift herself up from her bed, maneuver to her side, and transfer herself to her wheelchair. 

View Event →
TOM:NYC 2017
to Apr 23

TOM:NYC 2017

Team ‘Take a Seat’

16-year-old Need-Knower, Ross, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a progressive neuromuscular disorder which impacts his ability to walk long distances, climb stairs and to get in and out of cars easily. He has has difficulty standing from a seated position, and leaning on a surface to pull himself up is often not sufficient. This impacts his independence at school when class finishes.

Team ‘Take a Seat’ created two prototypes to assist Ross with rising from a chair: the first solution is a portable iPad docking station which doubles as a discreet lift-off platform to rise from a seated position. The second is a compact floor base which accepts and locks in a cane to provide multi-angle lift-off support to assist him rising from a chair.

Team ‘Bioj4ck’


Most weight machines are designed for able-bodied users. Nij is a 27-year-old need-knower with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy which means his entire right side is significantly weakened. This makes weight lifting machines difficult to use with his full body. He also does not have full extension and cannot adequately form a tight grip. The challenge was to create an adaptive device for weight machines and gym equipment.

Team ‘Bioj4ck’ created a dynamic elbow extension wearable from the bicep to the hand, enhancing muscle activity and improving Nij’s range of motion by providing support for full arm extension. The team also designed a glove which strengthens his wrist and stabilizes his grip when using dumbbells and bars.  

Independent and Modified Pediatric Feeding Solutions

Ursula is a 9-year-old need-knower with Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy and has difficulty feeding herself due to motor planning difficulties and ongoing oral-motor issues: she is unable to open her mouth wide due to inflexibility of the jaw hinge and to move her tongue bilaterally.

The team developed cutlery prototypes with a customizable grip for firmer control at the base and provided Ursula the ability to modify the position of the cutlery ends so that she can choose an optimized angle when feeding herself. The team also created a discreet design for the cutlery which mimics the look of a magic wand.

Fun mobility chair

Electric wheelchairs on the market are heavy and extremely expensive. Six-year-old Ryan, who has has cerebral palsy and limited mobility, needed an adaptable stroller which could be electric, lightweight, and easy for transport.

The team created a “fun mobility chair” which is affordable, lightweight, easily transportable and electrically-operated. The team motorized a stroller by hacking a hoverboard which Ryan controls through a joystick, offering him greater independence and easier access in public settings.

Stair Climbing With a Walker

Seniors like Roberta who use walkers in multi-flight apartment buildings struggle to climb stairs. The challenge was to develop a lightweight modification to a walker which would allow ascension with ease.

The team modified Roberta’s walker by adding a small tri-wheel system to the existing model, allowing her to easily ascend the stairs in her fourth-floor walkup apartment. Additionally, the team created a telescopic door stopper to hold the door open for her. The device is lightweight and compact enough to store in a bag on her walker. Roberta no longer faces a challenge in reaching her apartment.

Adapted Toys

The switch toys on the market today are limited in variety, generally are expensive, and are often not durable. Many are not sufficiently stimulating for special needs children who crave a normalized environment that will allow them to use the same popular toys that other children have. The challenge was to create a wireless interface between a child’s switch and a toy. While there are toy adapters on the market, they come with hanging wires which are dangerous for children and can break easily. The device would also need to be easy for any able-bodied users to insert into the battery pack.

The need-knower from the Blythedale Children’s Hospital staff worked with her team to create a wireless, two-button device which activates a toy’s on-off functions, and can also activate an additional device which triggers the various features of a toy.

Ring Bling

Children with disabilities often have fingers with atypical posturing--a child’s finger joints may appear to bend backward. When fingers are held in better alignment, children have better use of their hands. Ring splints, which are small, plastic orthotics that hold fingers to improve alignment, are commercially available, though stock sizes often do not fit children appropriately or require multiple fittings. Stronger, custom silver splints are also overly expensive. The challenge was to develop a platform to design and produce affordable ring splints in custom sizes, colors and shapes.

Team Ring Bling worked with their need-knowers--a team of specialists from Blythedale Children’s Hospital--to create a digital platform allowing physical therapists to customize and 3D print ring splints within a hospital setting. After inputting a patient’s measurements into the newly created, the therapist can then take the file with the specifications and 3D print customized ring splints with a range of materials, colors and designs. Visit for a full tour of the customization process.

Customizable Support Chair for Pre-Schoolers

Many children with disabilities do not have the motor control to independently sit upright. When provided a chair with sufficient support, they are able to use their eyes and hands for learning and play. Physical therapists from Blythedale Children’s Hospital challenged their team to create a customizable pre-school chair which would provide optimal postural support.

The team created a lightweight and mobile pre-school chair which provides postural support for a disabled child’s trunk, hips and head and which also has the ability to tilt in space for times when a child needs to lean back. This solution allows young children to better engage at play, in school, and in everyday life.

Ali’s Angels

11-year-old need-knower Ali has a tendency to thrust her head backwards when walking, which causes both Ali and her caregiver behind her to lose balance. She also has the tendency to make erratic movements causing her to release, for example, a cup if it is in her hand. The challenge was to create both a head support unit to prevent Ali from thrusting her head backwards and to design a device to secure a cup.

Team ‘Ali’s Angels’ created a lightweight, wearable support system for walking which provides padding to prevent backward head thrusting. The team also designed a cup-holding glove securing Ali’s hand using a thick, comfortable, elastic band. Team ‘Ali’s Angels’ designed creative, low tech solutions and produced significant and effective results for the young need-knower.

Multi-Purpose Wheelchair Bag

Wheelchairs rarely come with accessible bags and those that do are often fitted on the back where they can't be easily reached or will require assistance for access. The challenge was to create a deployable bag system which would provide easy and independent access for Anthony who is a need-knower.

The team created a foldable platform designed to provide Anthony with independent access to his tech, medications, and more. The assistive device is stowed on the side of Anthony’s chair and can be accessed manually to provide him a steady, tray-like surface. This devices also provides a place to write or use an iPad, and its under side contains pouches for storage.

Energy Burst Detector for Self-Injurious Behavior

Self-Injurious Behavior (SIB) is a substantial concern for need-knowers like Ben who have Smith–Magenis Syndrome. SMS patients experience frequent temper tantrums and outbursts which can result in self-injury. The challenge was to build a solution which could help identify, mitigate, and intervene an SIB “energy burst.”

The team hacked a smartwatch to provide essential sensing components for need-knower, Ben. The smartwatch can detect signs of distress such as increased heart rate, irregular movements and muscle contractions. It then audibly communicates with Ben, asking basic questions around his emotional and physical status. Ben has the option to indicate his emotional level by swiping left or right. If he requires assistance or does not respond within 30 seconds, an alert will emit from the watch notifying an accompanying aid of his status and will simultaneously initiate an app designed to calm him down.

Single-Button Remote

Dwight is quadriplegic maker and need-knower who teamed up with local makers to design a single-button remote. The challenge was to to create a solution for a standard remote where buttons were too close together and changing channels was difficult without pressing more than one button.

The team created a voice-activated remote which allows users like Dwight with limited mobility to cycle through TV and light functions. The remote also provides a large, accessible, single selection button large enough to accommodate limited hand mobility. The team’s device provides Dwight greater independence and the prototype has the potential to control additional home devices.

Robotic Dressing Assistant

Jojo is a 4-year-old need-knower with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita--he has curved joints and a minimal amount of muscle which makes many of the activities of daily living very difficult. The challenge was to create a device which would enable Jojo to dress himself independently.

The team built Jojo a mechanically operated dressing assistant that can be attached to any chair. It features a motorized arm which holds Jojo’s shirt open and in place so that he can insert his arms, which are then mechanically raised into a position which completes the dressing process. The device can also be modified to adapt to Jojo as he grows bigger.

Lightweight, Portable Ramp for Urban Environments

Rachel is a need-knower who uses a scooter for mobility in Manhattan. The challenge she presented her to team was to create a portable, light-weight ramp to achieve greater accessibility in urban environments.

The team created a lightweight, foldable ramp system durable for scooter use in cities, and compact enough to travel like a purse between Rachel’s legs. The ramp weighs under 10lbs and can be used to climb curbs and stores with front step access. In providing a need-knower like Rachel greater mobility in Manhattan, individuals with similar challenges now have access to Rachel’s prototype and can navigate various areas overlooked by city planners.

Anti-Slip Cane Tips and Hanger

19-year-old Renee ambulates with two canes with rubber tips and which are extremely slippery on wet surfaces--from rain and snow to marble surfaces and mopped floors. Additionally, when she is seated in public, her canes need to be put aside, and storing canes upright isn’t easy as they they often fall. The challenge was to develop anti-slip cane tips and a lightweight hanger for use in public settings.

Team ‘Yes We Cane’ created anti-slip cane tips with two design solutions: the first was a 3D printed tip which mimics tire designs and the second is modified from a bicycle tire which attaches onto the cane tip for stability on slippery surfaces. The team addressed the second element of the challenge by developing an affordable 3D printed cane add-on which uses a clip function to latch onto objects like a chair in a restaurant.


View Event →
TOM:Bulgaria 2017
to Apr 22

TOM:Bulgaria 2017

Radoslav Enev

Rado is a student in 1th grade of Elementary school. He has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but he is e extremely vital and active. He uses two wheelchairs. One for sitting and the other he uses when he standing up. Rado’s challenge is to create one wheelchair for both poses, which grows with his growing. He also wants to be able to lift himself up and down from this wheelchair without any help.

Milena Velkovska

Milena use one particular route every day to go to her working place. When the weather is bad she takes taxi or she stays at home. Milena chooses only sloping sidewalks, she prefer not to use stairs or high curbs because she has a problem rising her leg. She cannot keep the balance of her body and she is scared of falling down. She doesn’t use any assistive utilities because the physiotherapists didn’t recommend them. They think this will deepen the problems. Milena’s challenge is technical facility as a simulator which can help her overcome her fear. This simulator can imitate different routes using VR technology and can represent different real situations.

Silvia Datsin

Silvia is blind and for her is difficult to recognize the nominal value of different banknotes. The special sign for blind people is very difficult to be felt on Bulgarian money. When a banknote is used for a long time and has gone through the hands of thousands of people it is impossible to recognize this sign. It is more impossible for people who have not finished special school and who don’t know Braille. Her challenge is to find a solution so she can be able to recognize the banknotes and the currency.

Vania Pandieva

Vania is weak. Her hands are not very strong. She uses accumulator wheelchair. Because she usually is sitting almost whole day she has discomfort and pain in the pelvic area. Vania’s challenge is to find a solution for more comfortable sitting with different softness and hardness and a possibility to change them when she needs.

Milena Ivanova

Milena has difficulties in lower and upper limbs. She has muscular atrophy in her wrist. As a result they are curved inwards to the hand. She has problems with her fingers too. That is the reason why Milena can act limited number of actions. Her challenge is to find such a kind of solution which can help her grab more different objects. But most of all she wish she could use walking facility like walking stick which can help her move from one place to another.

Tanya Dimitrova
Tanya Dimitrova is a child of deaf parents and now she works as a hearing rehabilitator. There are a lot of communicative borders between deaf parents and their children. Her challenge is to find technical solution which recognizes the voice of the child and indicates to the mother when she cannot see the child who needs her at the moment. With this solution the deaf mothers will be able to do her work in another room or in other situations when the child is not in front of her.

View Event →
TOM:Schechter Westchester
to Apr 3

TOM:Schechter Westchester

Meet your future physicists, neuroscientists, chemists, teachers, lawyers, and businessmen. 

Instead of spending their weekend hanging out with friends or doing homework, 30 students from Schechter Westchester and Golda Och Academy made history in the XLN Idea Lab on Sunday and Monday creating solutions for everyday challenges facing people with disabilities. 

The 2 day Makeathon (marathon of making) organized by Dr. Danny Aviv launched TOM:SW, the newest TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers ( community and the first in history launched on a high school campus. 

TOM is a global movement of communities of makers, designers, developers, and innovators who solve challenges faced by people living with disabilities worldwide. “These young innovators deployed their talent and resources to help local people that face neglected challenges that have no market solution and no government solution.” shared Gidi Grinstein, president of the Reut Group, “by creating specific and extremely affordable solutions to specific problems, and then making the designs globally available, these 11th grade students are part of a global movement that can help millions living with disabilities.”

TOM:SW was launched alongside three college campuses this Spring with the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation to mobilize Jewish young adults to make a positive impact in their community.

The Makeathon was split into two sprints: Day 1 focused on replicating solutions created by other TOM Communities around the world and Day 2 focused on creating new solutions for a local resident living with a disability. 

Split into five teams, each with a challenge and instructions on how to create a solution, each team had 10 hours to adapt and replicate using materials and resources locally available. Students surpassed expectations and completed their products in under 6 hours!

Shuval’s Tray: Shuval is a programmer at Motorola in Israel, was born with Cerebral Palsy and uses a manual wheelchair. At lunchtime at work, Shuval has a challenging time managing his lunch tray. A team in the Tel Aviv Developer Groups designed a 3D printed add-on to hold his food tray. Looking at the 3D model, students at TOM:SW noticed that it was not universal for any tray - using a clamp and pvc pipe, the team took the original design and adapted it so other wheelchair users can easily replicate for their unique wheelchair-food tray needs.

Tamar’s Ponytail Holder: Tamar was injured in a horseback riding accident last year and is not longer able to bend her elbow - making putting her hair in a ponytail extremely challenging. A team at TOM:Alyn Good Deeds Day in Jerusalem designed a one-handed ponytail holder. The team at TOM:SW easily replicated the solution and then found youtube videos online of no-tech methods to put a ponytail in with one hand.

Ran’s Sensor: Ran was injured in Operation Protective Edge three summers ago in Israel - he lost one of his legs and the other is partially paralyzed. At risk for pressure sores, Ran is unable to feel whether or not he should adjust his leg brace. A team at TOM:JLM for Wounded Soldiers designed a leg sensor and phone app to alert Ran. The team at TOM:SW read the solution and realized that this may be cumbersome - they replicated the leg sensor and extended the sensor to his stomach, when he needs to adjust, the sensor buzzes.

Bar’s EpiPen Holder: Bar is 6 years old and is allergic to nuts. When the temperature rises above 15-30 degrees celcius, his Epipen needs to be replaced. The team at TOM:Philips designed a canister with a cooling gel that holds the epipen and activates at 27 degrees, starts to a jingle at 29 degrees, and turns on a red light when temperatures reach 30 degrees (telling the user to replace). The team at TOM:SW replicated the case, added palitare tiles to cool and regulate the temperature. If the temperature rises above 29 degrees, the canister starts buzzing. 

Vera’s Door Opener: Vera lives in the Bay Area, uses a power wheelchair and cannot open doors independently. At the Bay Area Makeathon in 2015, the team designed a door stopper so Vera can open the door by herself. While watching a video of Vera using the solution, the team at TOM:SW noticed that Vera still had a challenging time turning the handle of the door and created a high-tech component to also turn the handle of the door in addition to opening the door. 

On Day 2 of the Makeathon, students met with local resident and retired teacher, Mrs. Joan Fuhrman (fondly called “Grandma Joan” by the Makeathon participants). At 83 years old, Grandma Joan leads a very active social life, loves playing mahjong, is active in her synagogue, and has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Grandma Joan uses a walker to help her maintain her balance but has a challenging time getting her walker into her car and also cannot use an umbrella.

“The impact of the makeathon for both me and my students is the realization that their work/designs/projects can, in the end, make a difference in someone’s life. Everything we do in class is focused around a problem the students themselves define. Working to create projects that were designed for an actual person with a specific need and spending time problem solving with that person makes the process more “real” and valuable.” shared Dr. Kelmanovich of Golda Och Academy.

Splitting into five groups again - 4 from Schechter Westchester and 1 from Golda Och, the teams had 10 hours to create solutions for Grandma Joan’s challenges.

Photo 1: Meeting Grandma Joan and discussing her challenges

Photo 2: Measuring Grandma Joan’s car and ideating

Photo 3: Working hard on a solution to get Grandma Joan’s walker into her car

Photo 4: The team from Golda Och designed a ramp to help Grandma Joan lift her wheelchair into her car. 

Photo 5 and 6: Teams designed both manual and electric pulley systems to pull Grandma Joan’s walker into her car.

Photo 7: Look at this umbrella and shopping basket designed for Grandma Joan’s walker!

The weekend was a success! When asked why he chose to join the Makeathon, Schechter Westchester 11th grader Jacob Lovell shared, “It’s a great opportunity to both help people and to expand my knowledge of engineering. It is also interesting to challenge myself and help people in the process.”

By mobilizing TOM Communities worldwide, TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers ( seeks to address neglected challenges and develop millions of affordable technological solutions for people with disabilities around the globe. Established in 2014, TOM is a strategic initiative of the Reut Group, a Tel Aviv-based innovative policy and strategy group creating and scaling models to ensure prosperity and resilience for Israel and the Jewish People while courageously pursuing a vision to positively impact the lives of 250 Million people in a decade. 

View Event →
TOM:Holon 2017
to Mar 31

TOM:Holon 2017

The 48 hour event took place at the Fablabil in Holon between March 29th-31st.

Yakir has weak fine motor skills, he wanted to be able to turn on a tablet and use apps without touching the entire screen. The group created a stand for the tablet that attaches to his chair, and a glove with a stylus on the end that allows his finger to press icons easily. 

Kenya is 15 years old and operates his wheelchair using a joystick with his right foot. The group developed a mouse so he can operate a computer with his leg too.

Evyatar is 20 years old and has muscular dystrophy, he wanted to operate a camera on a smartphone and photograph from different angles. The group has created a device that enables him to adjust and change camera angles.

It is challenging for people to understand Chaya's words. The team created an app that recognizes her face when she speaks and reads her words. Currently the team is working on "yes" and "no" identifiers.

Daniel and Nikita want to play ball but they are different heights and cannot throw the ball. The team created a track in which the rolling ball makes a sound while rolling.

At school the chairs are all the same height, but some of the students cannot reach the floor while sitting, making it difficult for them get off their chair. The team created an adjustable foot stand at different heights according to the students' requirements.

Students with cerebral palsy at school want to play different musical instruments independently but some have a challenging time moving their hands. The group created two musical instruments: An electronic keyboard that makes every keystroke produce music on an app and a flute that is connected to a long pipe that makes it easy to blow.

Shahar is 16 years old and has both cognitive and motor difficulties. She cannot see her hand when she uses a tablet. The group connected two tablets, one near her hand where she can press icons, and the other facing her where she can see what she is pressing.

Students with autism and sensory sensitivities enjoy hugging devices that squeeze the body. The cost of products on the market is about 20,000 NIS. The team designed a similar and inexpensive solution that students can use unassisted.

Aaron is 10 year old and drools, at school he can't use paper or computers because they may get ruined. The team designed a chin cup with a pump that allows the drool to drain off so he can be active in his lessons. 

Children with ADHD have difficulty being part of the lesson. The group produces mechanical games from various materials that kids can play with to stay focused.

View Event →
TOM:Berkeley 2017
to Mar 19

TOM:Berkeley 2017

Ligia beamed with tears rolling down her face, “this is perfect”. For the first time in the 8 years since she was injured, Ligia Andrade was applying makeup by herself.

Ms. Andrade is one of 11 people living with a disability who attended this weekend’s 48-hour Makeathon at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley.

Until this weekend, she would apply her makeup by asking a caretaker or one of her sons to hold and position her brushes, pencils, and lipsticks while she would move her face and apply her own makeup flawlessly. However, this system would slow down her morning routine. The “Makeup Applicator” holds all her applicators so she is independent to put on her makeup.

TOM:Berkeley is the newest TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers community - a global movement launched in Israel in 2014 of makers, designers, developers, and innovators who seek to solve challenges faced by people living with disabilities worldwide.  The community is being launched alongside three other college campuses and one high school, all with the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

“As a mechanical engineering student and quadriplegic due to Spinal Cord Injury, I am very excited to bring a TOM Community to UC Berkeley and engage my peers in an impactful way. I see so much skill and potential amongst my fellow students and see so many activities that my friends and I in the disability community struggle with or simply cannot do because no functional or affordable solution exists.” shared TOM:Berkeley Organizer, Drew McPherson, “By bringing these communities together many of these challenges can be addressed with local community members and through TOM the impact can be amplified to reach communities around the world. ”

With access to the state of the art workshops with 3D printers, laser cutters, water jet cutters, and electronics fabrication, the eleven teams had 48 hours to create working prototypes for their challenges.

Speech Translator

Malia is 11 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy, which often makes it difficult for people to understand her when she speaks. In school, Malia uses an eye-gaze tracking device to communicate, but the solution is inaccurate, impersonal, and limits her ability to chat with her friends. To help Malia communicate more accurately and more fully, the speech translator team developed software to learn from and adapt to her voice, understand what she is saying, and translate it to others around her. The team, made up of a combination of Berkeley students and Googlers, developed an algorithm that takes in samples of Malia’s voice and trains itself to pick up on the nuances of her speech.

Auto Shift

Alvaro, an MBA student at the Haas School of Business, is quadriplegic with limited motion in his shoulders. He enjoys hand cycling, but current gear shifting mechanisms rely heavily on wrist and grip strength. For Alvaro, this means going for a ride requires a second cyclist to ride alongside him who can reach over and shift the gears for him. The auto shift team, steeped in mechanical engineering experience, developed a gear shift solution using his elbows. The next steps in development for the team include a voice activated solution.

Grocery Helper

Bliss is a mom to three kids, a full-time doctor and is Hemipalegic. When Bliss takes her children out grocery shopping in San Francisco, she finds it difficult to manage both her kids and groceries while navigating city streets in her wheelchair. Looking for solutions in the past, Bliss was turned off by bulky devices that require permanent attachment to her chair – Bliss requires a solution that can be easily added and removed when needed.

The grocery helper team – all brothers of the professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau – developed a solution with only one permanent component – a small, unintrusive metal plate mounted to the back of Bliss’ chair. A swinging basket can be easily added and removed from the plate, providing Bliss a place to place her groceries that can easily be swung to the back of the chair while she carries her kids home on her lap.

Autism Letterboard

For children with autism, communication in school can be a difficult task. Many kids rely on a physical letterboard, a laminated sheet of paper on which students can point out letters that are then relayed by an aide. Not only is the process slow, it severely limits the autonomy of autistic students and relies heavily on the assistance of an aide.

To help facilitate more autonomy in the classroom, the autism letterboard team developed a digitized touchscreen letterboard powered by a Raspberry Pi. Rather than pointing out a letter to an aide, the digital letterboard allows students to touch letters that are then recorded instantly by the computer, both speeding up the process of communication and reducing the reliance on aides in the classroom.


Owen, a Berkeley-based filmmaker and self-taught engineer, can only interface with technology when using his wheelchair. He uses a customized joystick attached to his wheelchair and controlled by his chin. Because Owen spends a lot of time at home outside of his wheelchair, this quickly becomes limiting. But Owen, who developed his engineering prowess by developing solutions to challenges he found in his own life, doesn’t like to think small – in addition to a non-wheelchair-exclusive technology interface, Owen is also looking for ways to automate devices around his house through an app.

To tackle Owen’s multi-faceted challenge, the HouseAUTO team – Team Hada – split into multiple sub-teams throughout the weekend, working on developing everything from a mechanical arm to attach to Owen’s wheelchair, to connecting his joystick to a tablet interface, to setting up a server to control all of the peripheral devices, to hacking into Owen’s door to better connect it to his new home automation system.

Leg Bag Emptier

Rafe sustained a spinal cord injury while traveling through India 10 years ago. He uses a leg bag connected to a catheter. Current devices, Rafe explained, are unreliable and can be difficult to operate. If the mechanism breaks, as it does from time to time, Rafe – and other users – must send in the device to be repaired, leaving them without an autonomous solution for a week or longer. Some current devices are also unreliable in determining whether or not the leg bag is full. If the detector mechanism fails, urine can become backed up in the user’s bladder, potentially leading to serious health complications if not treated soon enough.

The challenge required the leg bag team to develop a solution that is easy, quick, reliable, and completely sanitary. Sensors on the bag controlled by an Arduino connect to Rafe’s iPhone, where he can use an app that keeps track of the last time the bas was emptied and how full it currently is.


Longtime Berkeley resident Bonnie considers herself to be somewhat of an outdoorsman. From her fondness for trails through California greenery to her work with the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, Bonnie loves to spend time outside.

Currently, Bonnie relies on a grabber arm to pick things from her wheelchair. Most of these grabbers rely heavily on wrist and grip strength, making them impossible for Bonnie to operate with one hand. Current devices also have difficulty picking up objects heavier than one pound, forcing Bonnie to rely on maneuvering a converted dustbin to lift heavy objects.

Tendon Glove

As a result of a spinal cord injury, Marcos, an architecture student at UC Berkeley, has no function in his hands, and relies on exoskeleton-type devices to grab objects. Current devices, the team explained, are bulky and can be unstable.

The tendon glove team developed a rigid glove that is easier to don and more stable than other solutions, and that provides Marcos with grip strength between his thumb and index finger he would otherwise not have. Unlike existing devices which are rigid and cumbersome, the team’s solution forms to the shape of Marcos’ hand for easier usability and more flexibility.

The highlights for the team included: writing with a pen, cutting a banana, and eating chips and salsa!


For people with limited to no arm and leg function, a robotic arm attached to a wheelchair can function as a backup working limb. Unfortunately, solutions currently on the market can cost upwards of $50,000, making them unrealistic for many people to purchase. Desktop arms exist and are often cheaper, but are weaker and have a limited range of motion.

Need-Knower Jade created the first prototype of JARL before the makeathon with Owen, the Need-Knower for HouseAUTO, and built off of that knowledge at TOM:Berkeley with the new JARL team. Unlike past prototypes which were non-functional skeletons, this JARL model is equipped with two degrees of freedom and a laser pointer at the end to make operation easier and more accurate. The JARL team’s minimum viable product is a robotic limb that can press elevator buttons, achieved through the two degrees of freedom.

Travel Commode

When Jill’s parents travel, taking their toilet and shower chair with them is difficult – many models aren’t made to collapse, and must be disassembled and reassembled once they’ve reached their destination. Because they were not designed for portability, most are also very heavy and cumbersome, making travel even more difficult.

To facilitate easier, hassle-free travel, the travel commode team developed an inexpensive and lightweight commode that can be easily broken down into parts that fit into a standard backpack or carry-on bag. Once Jill’s parents have arrived at their destination, the device is easy to reassemble without needing a screwdriver or any tools besides a small hex wrench. The team’s device is also much less expensive than similar products on the market.

The solutions developed at the 48 Makeathon will help other people with disabilities around the world. “By creating a specific and extremely affordable solutions to a specific problem, and then making it globally available, every team can help tens of thousands of other users worldwide” explained Gidi Grinstein, president of the Reut Group, “supporting a global network of communities collectively working together to improve the lives of millions of people living with disabilities.”

“Jacob Institute was made for a Makeathon like this” shared George Anwar, a lecturer at UC Berkeley, “It is exciting to see the tradeoff between resources, limited time and what the person with disabilities wants to create a working solution. This event is so much greater than a grade and it teaches our students to put the person in need first. ”

TOM:Berkeley ( is a local community for student Makers, designers, developers and engineers working together with people with disabilities to develop technological solutions for everyday challenges.  This event is co-organized by the student group EnableTech at UC Berkeley, who will provide support for projects to continue after the event.

By mobilizing TOM Communities worldwide, TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers ( seeks to address neglected challenges and develop millions of affordable technological solutions for people with disabilities around the globe. Established in 2014, TOM is a strategic initiative of the Reut Group, a Tel Aviv-based innovative policy and strategy group creating and scaling models to ensure prosperity and resilience for Israel and the Jewish People while courageously pursuing a vision to positively impact the lives of 250 Million people in a decade.

View Event →
TOM:IAI Developer Groups
to Aug 8

TOM:IAI Developer Groups

Led by Dana Fellner and Franck Marciano, IAI Engineers developed 12 solutions for people with disabilities in their community. The 6 month process came to an end with 12 new solutions developed. The unique collaboration, has led to the first development cycle of IAI - Developer Groups. 

Developer Groups, are meetings where Makers and Need Knowers meet on a weekly basis, and work together to create solutions for neglected problems in order to enhance the quality of living for anyone that is need.

The challenges that have been solved through the TOM:IAI collaboration are:

Small Swimmer - Yonatan, 8 years old, lost his left eye and wears a glass eye. When going swimming he isn't able to use goggles due to the suction they create while wearing them. The team has created one of a kind goggles - using a plug that is placed on the right lens, that he screws to suction and unscrews to release the suction.

Adaptive Hanukkah Menorah - People with low motor skills have trouble lighting a Menorah on the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. The team created a unique lighter - that uses a motor to switch on, and releases the lighter after a few second in order for it not be hazardous.

Kitesurfing -  Alon, was injured a few years back and is parapalegic. Before his injury, Alon was an avid Kitesurfing - an activity that he found impossible to practice after his injury. Together with the team at IAI, they created a customized surfing chair that is placed on of the surfboard and is able to maneuver together with Alon while he is surfing. Alon has successfully surfed with the solution and the team is now working on version 2 of the design.

Inclusive Large Trash Cans - Children at the Alyn Hospital shared their challenge using the large public flip lid trash cans while using their walking canes. The team solved this challenge by adding a small lever on their canes that they can both use to stabilize and use the cane to open the lid.

Hear Again - Children and adults that undergo Cochlear Implant surgery to regain the ability to listen again in order to learn to speak. For this, the team had developed a one of a kind app - in Hebrew, using auditory and visual aids to help users become familiar with the Hebrew language easily. 

Walk It - Stel uses a walker 80% of the time, however she wants to be able to use her crutches more often. It is too complicated to bring both aids with her everywhere she goes. The team developed a walker that can transition into crutches - this 2-in-1 solution will help Stel become more independent in her everyday life. This solution is still in development to make it lighter weight and easier to manage.

Nerya Box - Nerya, is 9 years old. He has a hard time breathing and uses a breathing machine. The machine, is very bulky, heavy and needs to be carried around using a special box. Every box bought, was never strong enough to last more than a month and would always break! Together with the team - they have built a custom made box for Nerya which is sturdy enough and fits his needs perfectly.

Tray2Go - Individuals using walkers, find it difficult to participate in cafeteria lunch because they are unable to carry their tray independently. The team designed a tray that fits perfectly on the handles of the walker and can be adapted easily for other users.

WheelChair Lift - When Stel drives with family or friends, in her private car - she is lucky to have her own robotic arms that lifts up her wheelchair from the ground to her car’s trunk. But, when taking a cab or riding a car which is not hers, she finds it difficult to ask people to lift the chair on to their car. For this, the team had created a simple solution that would do exactly that! By hooking a spool of rope to the center of the wheel and anchoring to the back seat, the user can turn the wheel and lift the wheelchair up into the car.

Wheelchair to Toilet- Transferring children from their wheelchairs to the toilets might be a difficult task for parents or caregivers - especially if this needs to be done outside of the home. The team created a portable lever slides under the user and lifts them - assisting parents or caregivers. 

Wall Climber - Mor, 26 years old, lost all fingers from frostbite in an avalanche in Nepal 3 years ago. After recovering, he decided to relearn how to rock climb. Securing the rope was extremely challenging - specifically the task of holding the rope while securing the rope. The team designed a "yo-yo" type device that holds the rope while he clips the carabiners.

Achilles Tendon -  Individuals that have lost movement in their legs, still need to find a way to stretch their tendons regularly otherwise they can experience tremendous pain. in order to release pain. The team created a special product that holds the leg and mechanically stretches it for the user by moving the leg back and forth - helping them stretch as much needed.

View Event →
TOM:Israel 2017
to Jan 10

TOM:Israel 2017

TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers concluded TOM:Israel 2017 in a whirlwind 72-hour Makeathon at the Technion Institute in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation. The Makeathon (a marathon of making)  brought together over 160 ‘Makers’ - engineers, designers, innovators and problem solvers - from the United States, Canada, England, China, India, Sri Lanka and Israel, to work together with 20 people with disabilities to develop technological solutions for everyday challenges.

In addition to being the largest Makeathon in world history, TOM:Israel 2017 was the first international Makeathon of the growing global movement which expands across Israel, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, and Vietnam. Throughout the 3-day event in Haifa, teams of technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities addressed 17 challenges of people living with disabilities, working hand-in-hand to create prototype solutions.

“With 1.1 Billion people living with disabilities, there is an astronomical number of neglected challenges hindering independence and inclusion." shared Arnon Zamir, Founding Director of TOM "The strength of TOM is the powerful connection of dedicated community mobilized and ready to develop solutions for everyday challenges. We want to invite you to look around your communities, and prepare yourself to help someone in need.”

TOM:Israel 2017 took place in a specially designed workspace at the Technion in Haifa, featuring advanced technology such as 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, and CNC machines. The solutions developed addressed a full range of challenges spanning from transportation to adapting communication devices.  Each of the 17 challenges involved a Need-Knower (a person with a disability or deep understanding of the challenge) and a team of Makers (designers, developers, engineers) working together. PDF with stories

Challenges and open-source solutions!

Sensory Eye Fix is a safe and stable platform for eye gaze Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices for children.

It is exciting to see special systems with sophisticated eye gaze available for people of all ages in Israel. A couple of years ago the Ministry of Health decided that anyone who needed an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device would receive one.

Like most technology, the earlier it is introduced that better resulting success. Yael started using an eye gaze system at age two. Now 3.5 years old and in a preschool with other children, there is a real risk of this 20,000NIS piece of equipment getting knocked over. In addition, Yael needs to be at eye-level with the device to use it - like most 3.5 year olds, at times she is at a table and at other times she is on the floor.

The team at Beit Issie Shapiro was looking for a safe and stable platform to anchor the AAC device. Over the course of 72 hours, the team of makers worked together with the staff at BIS to create three stackable platforms that successfully anchors the device.  

We are looking forward to seeing pictures of this solution in use at Beit Issie Shapiro - and if successful, it is easy to adapt and duplicate for other users with similar challenges.

Chair Call is an app to call a wheelchair to one's’ bedside or back out of the way - clearing space for visitors.

*Photo is of Drew testing the solution using his wheelchair to test to product

Danny is hospital-bound and receives many visitors. After he transfers from his wheelchair to his bed, he doesn’t like having his wheelchair next to his bed because then his visitors can’t hang out with him. So the team designed an app that can “call” his electric wheelchair to his bedside using bluetooth and send the chair to the side of the room and out of they way.

It was 9pm on the second day of the Makeathon and the Makers felt ready to test their model. Everyone was serious, yet, hopeful… as Drew pressed the remote on the app, his wheelchair moved forward and everyone cheered! The joy and excitement was palpable. The team was giddy with excitement and ready to perfect the design to hand it over to Danny back at the hospital.

Water Simon Says is a rehabilitative water game.

TOM has worked with Alyn Hospital on many challenges over the past few years. This challenge was previously tried and failed at a past Makeathon.

Not undeterred and ready to try again, we are excited to share that the team at TOM:Israel successfully designed a solution.

Simon Says is a water based rehabilitation game with the goal of challenging the patient to swim around to different points and turn off the lights (similar to the game Simon Says).

This game is suitable for all ages! We are looking forward to receiving videos or photos of this solution in “play”.

Coffee Break is a unique coffee maker for a Need-Knower with a hand tremor.

Bar studies at Sapir College is independent in almost all her daily activities but she has difficulty making herself a cup of coffee without the coffee spilling as a result of her hand tremor and limited hand movements.

The team designed a conveyor belt coffee maker that makes the coffee the way she likes.

One Hand Crafting are a collection of small tools that adapt everyday school activities - cutting, using a ruler, etc.

Ido is in 5th grade and has partial paralysis in one hand. The team at TOM:Israel sat with him and made a list of things he wished he could do in the classroom but felt like he couldn’t!

From using rulers, cutting paper, and opening markers, Ido had a whole host of difference challenges. The team split up into two groups and designed a few solutions for Ido.

  1. They created a tube that hold the paper so he has better control to cut the paper.
  2. They created a magnet for a ruler so it holds steady
  3. They created a keychain for his marker bag that can easily remove marker caps

The most important thing that the team gave Ido is a sense of independence - to be able to keep up with his classmates without needing to ask anyone for help!

Ride Sharing app connects people with disabilities and wheelchair accessible vehicles.

One of the two teams from CornellTech was tasked with creating a ridesharing app for people with disabilities. You may be familiar with apps like UBER and Lyft - both these apps don’t provide a solution for people with disabilities like vision, hearing, and mobility impairments. While transportation challenges for people with hearing and vision impairment may be solved with education and training by drivers, people with mobility impairment may need more help with equipment like wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers. While some may be able to get into the car independently, others may need assistance making the transfer into the vehicle as well. It can be even more challenging for people who use power wheelchairs, weighing +300lbs that require special vehicles or need special anchors.

The team spoke with many Need-Knowers at TOM:Israel and designed a zipcar/UBER mashup to address the challenge. Like zipcar where there are cars parked in dedicated spots, the vision is to establish a company that can provide access to a fleet of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV). From there, the challenge is connecting someone who is available to drive the vehicle and someone looking for a ride. The idea is to create a pay-it-forward model, perhaps a family-caregiver gives a ride to someone in the community, they receive points in a system called “carma” and they can use those points towards getting rides in the system.

Tube Opener is a special paint tube opener and closer designed for individuals with poor fine motor skills.

Idit is an artist with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who is having a challenging time opening and closing her paint tubes - which means her expensive paint keeps drying out.

The really amazing thing about this solution was that the team designed it between the PreTOM and the TOM and were able to successful test the solution with her.

The mechanism holds the paint tube in place - while using the pliers to remove or replace the cap to the tube.

Winter Challenge 1 is an umbrella designed for wheelchair users.

Drew McPherson (30) is the up and coming TOM:Berkeley organizer with the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation. He came to TOM:Israel as a Maker and found himself in the role of Need-Knower on the team as well as the Need-Knower could not attend the Makeathon.

Drew is originally from Sacramento and is a senior MechE at Berkeley (he will be doing a Masters at Berkeley next year).

Drew leads a team on campus called “Enable Tech” - a multidisciplinary group of students who work in teams together with People with Disabilities to develop solutions for daily challenges. So students learn technical skills and real world application, creating meaning beyond themselves.

10 years ago, Drew was paralysed in a diving accident. Like in Israel, the Bay Area can get pretty rainy in winter months, however as a wheelchair user, it is challenging to keep dry. Umbrellas for someone with partial paralysis in the hands can be challenging, holding the umbrella on the move can be challenging, and incoming wind can make the umbrella completely obsolete.

The team at TOM:Israel designed a hatchback canopy umbrella that can raise or lower with the press of a button!

Winter Challenge 2 are wheelchair wheel cleaners.

Vital Zinger is 29 years old and is a professional wheelchair dancer and lives in Israel.

When it rains outside her wheels get wet and muddy and there is no great way to dry off her wheels. Her team is designing a motorized and removable wheel cleaner that she can quickly clip onto her wheels to clean before entering into the house.

Back to Biking is adaptive biking for someone with below the knee amputations.

Amir, a double below the knee amputee and was looking to ride a bike again - both for enjoyment, but also because the pedaling movement helps him maintain and regain function is is lower body.

The team designed a bike as well as prosthesis that help him ride a bike again.

One Hand Sony is a device to hold the playstation hand control and play with one hand.

Roy’s arm was amputated in a biking accident ten years ago. He wants to play Sony Playstation again with his friends. Although his right hand is fully functional, he has no way to use the remote to play.

The team designed a leg anchor to hold the hand control and adapted the control so he can reach all functionality with one hand.

Gamification of Achilles Tendon is a fun achilles tendon rehabilitation game for a child.

Hadas is 10 year old has Duchenne Syndrome it’s a neurodegenerative disease. Right now he is experiencing muscular dystrophy --- the back of his leg is contracting and shifting. He needs to stretch it to slow down the progression, right now he can only stand on his toes.

But doing stretches everyday is not so fun. This team of CornellTech students decided to try to find a way to improve his stretching regimen.

They split into two groups  working on two parts --- a mechanical pedal to help stretch and a game that connects with pedal that he can control by doing his exercises!

Roy loves art - so as he presses on the pedal, an app on his phone show more and more of a new piece of art.

Toilet Seat Assistance is a portable toilet seat for children who need additional support.

You may recognize Amit from a previous Makeathon where Makers worked with her to design a case for her eye-gaze communication device so she could communicate during hydrotherapy!

Amit gorgeous little girl with a contagious smile! She was joined at the Makeathon by her father and grandfather. Amit has Rhett Syndrome and is completely dependent on others.

Rett syndrome is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive inability to use muscles for eye and body movements and speech. It occurs almost exclusively in girls.

Most babies with Rett syndrome seem to develop normally at first, but after about 6 months of age, they lose skills they previously had — such as the ability to crawl, walk, communicate or use their hands.

Over time, children with Rett syndrome have increasing problems with the use of muscles that control movement, coordination and communication. Rett syndrome can also cause seizures and intellectual disability.

Amit is unable to sit up by herself because her back is not strong enough anymore. When she is at home and uses the toilet, she uses a special chair that gives her the support she needs. When she and her family are outside of the house, her mother holds her up to use the bathroom.

As Amit gets older and heavier, this solution is becoming more difficult. Many children in her situation go back to wearing diapers because they cannot use the restrooms outside of the home.

The team designed a foldable, lightweight portable toilet seat that can be taken with Amit on the go and provide her the support she needs to sit up on the toilet independently.

Plane Seat Assistance is an in-flight supportive vest, neck brace, and leg support for a child with CP.

Sitting on an airplane seat can be extremely challenging for children or adults that cannot hold up their bodies independently. The team is designing a vest with metal support in it to give extra support on all sides. It also includes a neck support to hold up the user’s head.

The challenge was submitted by Beit Issie Shapira, a local rehabilitation hospital. The specific Need Knower for this challenge is Guy who is 11 years old and has CP - his father is part of the TOM Community and felt this was a worthwhile challenge to try to find a solution.

Wise Control is an adapted AAC device for Nevo who has poor upper body strength and cortical blindness.

Nevo is a very intelligent and sweet child who lives with severe Cerebral Palsy (CP). He is unable to control the movements of his head or limbs and also has cortical blindness. He communicates through a head control device linked to a system of switches that give him audial feedback as he moves his head. Since he is unable to move his head independently, he cannot communicate through the system by himself. Without an available solution available on the market, Occupational Therapists from Beit Issie Shapiro presented this challenge to adapt the technology to allow Nevo the independence to communicate.

The team thought outside the box and created a unique headband sensor ‘Wise Controller’ that tracks Nevo’s movement, so his movements sends the correct messages to the communication device without him needing to be held upright by a caregiver.

Haifa 3D designed 3D printed prosthetic arms.

Or was a professional photographer who lost his arm in an accident last year. 3D Haifa, a branch of the e-NABLE foundation in Israel, designed a prosthetic arm for him.

Removable Mobile Arm is an adapted iPad communication device holder.

When you meet Yaffa, the first thing you notice is her smile and her impeccable sense of style. Yaffa is in her late 40s and has severe Cerebral Palsy. Unfortunately, it is very hard for her to speak and challenging to understand what she is saying. She is equipped with an iPad based communication device to communicate with the people around.

Debbie is an occupational therapist who works with Yaffa twice a week noticed that on days she was not at the Day Center, Yaffa was denied access to the device. After further investigation, she discovered that the caregivers found the set up extremely cumbersome and had long “given up” setting up the device for her.

The team at TOM:Israel is working on a few challenges:

  1. How can the iPad holder be improved so it is easy to clip in? The team adapted the holder as well as an extended arm so the caregivers can easily attach the extended arm and Yaffa can have control of bringing the iPad closer with the click of her head on her mouse keys.
  2. Since Yaffa has a challenging time moving her head, how can she easily reach the icons on her iPad? The team designed a mouth held tapper for Yaffa to reach the icons!
  3. How can Yaffa use the iPad to do other things - like take photos and increase independence? The team designed a rotator that allows Yaffa to easily take photos and get a good angle.

The team created prototypes of each element, they will have to continue working on the solution to reach a point where it is ready for Yaffa to use.

View Event →
TOM:Philips 2016
to Dec 23

TOM:Philips 2016

Beachair: Lev is a physicist at Philips and a dad to three great kids! His eldest daughter, Nitzan is 15 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. Living on the coast in Israel, he brings his children to the beach but he has to leave Nitzan at home because her wheelchair sinks on sand. There are special beach chairs on the market but the $3-4000 the solution is too expensive (and he doesn’t have room in his car for both chairs at one time). “I know going to the beach is a luxury - but is it really a luxury to want to spend time together as a family?” Lev worked together with his colleagues at Philips to create balloon wheel add ons that can easily clip onto Nitzan’s chair. This simple solution costs 400NIS and can be easily adapted for other transit wheelchairs.

Control: Moshe is 48 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy. He lives at home with his family and spends the day at a local daycare center where he receives physical, speech, occupational therapy as well as social activities. Moshe is fed through a feeding tube, cannot speak or walk. His favorite activity is playing with pens and TV remotes, he enjoys the clicking sound. Every few hours, Moshe needs to lay down and shifted to prevent pressure sores - during this time he usually makes a noise, a caregiver comes over and brings him pens… and every 15 minutes or so he makes a noise again and the caregiver helps him switch the pens for other pens - while he can’t speak he articulates his preference for what is handed to him. The care center presented a challenge - how can we give Moshe the independence to choose the pens he wants? The team at Philips designed a wheel with containers for the caregivers to fill with pens when it is time for Moshe to lay down -- with a button to turn the wheel when he is ready. While this challenge and solution is unique - the solution provides Moshe the ability to enjoy and give him some independence to do what he loves.

Koli: Liat is 34 years old and is developmentally disabled. While she can understand what people are saying, she cannot speak and cannot read, she uses a walker and requires around the clock help. The home she lives in only has two communication boards, so she ends up gesturing to communicate. The team of Makers met with Liat and asked her what she wanted to communicate - they were surprised by the things that were important to her: painting nails, colors, talking on the phone with her mother or sister, bathroom, temperature, entertainment, taking photos, playing games, painting, dancing, and listening to music. They sat together with her with a collection of emojis and had her choose the ones she liked and connected with. In 3 days, the makers created an android app to help Liat communicate her wants and needs.

Stand Alone: Roee a Philips employee is a volunteer at Etgarim, an organization working with adaptive sports in Israel. When he heard about TOM, he reached out to the CEO and asked, “What is your biggest challenges?” With biking being a popular sport, the organization arranges for tandem biking … but “people keep falling off the tandem bikes” and the organization was thinking about discontinuing the sport. Adi is 27 years old and has Cerebral Palsy, she joined the team at TOM:Philips as the Need Knower for the challenge. She had been biking for almost 10 years - while she has a great riding partner now, she has fallen on multiple occasions (usually around stopping and starting) and so have her friends. The solution involves training wheels that rise when the bike is going above 4KM/hour and lower when the bike drops below 4KM/hour - providing the stability the front rider needs to safely start and stop the bike without tipping over.

Go for itYonatan is almost 2 years old and has Cerebral Palsy - he has poor muscle tone in his legs. His parents and therapists noticed that the off-the-shelf walker was limited in terms of providing the support he needed in terms of pelvic support, wheel control, and support for his arms. The team adapted two walkers for him (one for daycare and one for home) to address each of these three needs.

Happy Pen: Bar is 6 years old and is allergic to nuts. Pretty much when the temperature rises above 15-30 degrees celcius, his Epipen needs to be replaced. This is especially challenging in warmer climates like Israel. Bar’s mother works at Philips and presented the challenge hoping to develop a solution. The team at TOM:Philips designed a canister with a cooling gel that holds the epipen and activates at 27 degrees, starts to beep at 29 degrees, and turns on a red light when temperatures reach 30 degrees (telling the user to replace).

Original Vision: Oron is 30 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy, he cannot talk and does not have a communication device. He is interested in drawing but when he draws, his body turns and he doesn't see what he is drawing. The team developed a typepad where he draws and sees what he is doing on a screen on the side.

DJ Afik: Afik is 31 years old and has ALS, he can only move his hands a little - and each hand goes in opposite directions. He wants to play music, rather to DJ music (!) so the team at TOM:Philips developed an app involving two tablets, one with play/stop/pause and the other with next/previous/navigate to the next song.

Moti: Moti is a personal motivator! The team met with the local Occupational Training Center, a center that trains people with skills to enter the workforce. The organization creates simulations about real world tasks. The challenge is that in sessions of 15-20 people, the participants have a hard time staying focused. If the task is moving items from one bin to another bin (like in a factory) with a scale monitoring weight change, the system alerts and says, “Hi, I’m still here, are you?” or “Great! Keep it up, keep going!”

Call for help: Uri’s brother in law Roi has ALS. For the past 3.5 years, he has been bedridden. Prior to his diagnosis he was a theatre director - today he continues to write scripts (one of his plays is expected to hit the stage in the Spring 2017). Over the years Uri has developed different DIY solutions for his brother in law, but as the disease progresses, the needs increase. At times, he wants to call people from other rooms in the house, so the team designed 4 buttons (they beta tested with 1 button between the preTOM and TOM to make sure this solution would work).

Fly Off: Avi is 30 years old and is quadriplegic, he is able to use his hands a little. He spends the day outside and was looking for a way to keep the flies away. The team designed a system of fans that he can use easily without obscuring his view.


Hear, Listen (Shabbat): The Need-Knower in this challenges is Sabbath observant and wears hearing aids. When she removes the hearing aids at night, the emit a high pitched squeal - while she can’t hear it, her entire family does. Because of her religious practices, she will not turn off the device - to the team designed a soundproof box to hold her hearing aids at night.

Eurika: Uri is 19 years old and has Cerebral Palsy, he volunteers with the elderly and records their personal stories. With challenges around his fine motor skills, he finds it challenging to hold a mouse. The team designed a special vest that connects with his computer so he can control the mouse on his chest.

View Event →