TOM:Belgrade
Nov
30
to Dec 2

TOM:Belgrade

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: www.tombelgrade.org/

View Event →
TOM:Colombia 2018
Oct
4
to Oct 6

TOM:Colombia 2018

TOM: Colombia 2018

Organizer: Hector Londoño
col.tomglobal.org

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
Sep
21
to Sep 23

TOM:Anahuac Mexico City 2018

Organizer: Claudia Dorenbaum
mexico.tomglobal.org

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
Mar
14
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
Jan
19
to Jan 21

TOM:Vanderbilt 2017

Untitled design (16).png

TOM:Vanderbilt

Bradley Schwartz
502-468-5991
bradley.schwartz@vanderbilt.edu
VU.tomglobal.org

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
PreTOM: TBA
Makeathon: January 19-21 at Vanderbilt Innovation Center, 2415 Garland Ave Nashville TN
Closing Ceremony: January 21, more details coming soon!
PostTOM: TBA

 
View Event →
TOM:Melbourne 2017
Dec
1
to Dec 3

TOM:Melbourne 2017

TOM:Melbourne

Organizer: Kylie Appel
aus@tomglobal.org
aus.tomglobal.org

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!
PostTOM: TBA

 
View Event →
TOM: Queensland 2017
Nov
23
to Nov 26

TOM: Queensland 2017

TOM:Queensland

 

Organizer: Damian Tracey
damien.tracey@cls.org.au
qld.tomglobal.org/

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
PostTOM - TBA

View Event →
TOM:Mexico 2017
Nov
11
to Nov 13

TOM:Mexico 2017

Untitled design (13).png

TOM:Mexico

Organizer: Claudia Dorenbaum
mexico.tomglobal.org

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
Nov
10
to Nov 12

TOM:Uruguay 2017

TOM:Uruguay

Organizer, Bebo Gold bebo@neto.com.uy
 

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
Oct
5
to Oct 7

TOM:Colombia 2017

TOM:Colombia

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
Aug
24
to Aug 27

TOM:Alberta 2017

TOM:Alberta

Kathryn Simone
587-969-3300 kpc.simone@gmail.com
kadimadynamics.com

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.

ABOUT TOM

‘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
Jun
16
to Jun 18

TOM:Kazakhstan 2017

TOM:Kazakhstan

Organizers: Saniya Arapova
saniya.arapova@tau-friends.kz
kazakhstan.tomglobal.org

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
Jun
2
to Jun 3

TOM:Porto 2017

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

1 | CANADIANAS ENCARTÁVEIS, 
CARLOS DUARTE

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.

 

2 | CR COM VERTICALIZAÇÃO FLEXÍVEL PARA GOLF, JOSÉ PEDRO SOTTOMAYOR

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.

 

3 | GRELHA UNIVERSAL PARA TECLADO DE COMPUTADOR, MANUEL COSTA

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.

 

4 | DISPOSITIVO PARA SACO DE URINA, MÁRCIO MARTINS

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.

 

5 | ORIENTAÇÃO NO GINÁSIO, TIAGO MARQUES

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.

 

6 | ANDARILHO ESPECIAL, TÂNIA CARDOSO [para o Eduardo]

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.

 

7 | UNIDADE DE CONTROLO PARA CADEIRA DE RODAS, JORGE GUEDES [em representação da Isabel]

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.

 

8 | EXOESQUELETO, CARLOS ALBERTO GONÇALVES

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.

9.jpg

 

9 | MELHORAR O ÂNGULO DE VISÃO EM CR, MANUELA OLIVEIRA

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.  

 

10 | ORTÓTESE FUNCIONAL ANTI-EQUINO, FILIPE GONÇALVES

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
Apr
28
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
Apr
28
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 (tomglobal.org), 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
Apr
21
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’

Nij_TOMNYC.jpg

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 RingBling.org, 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 http://ringbling.org/ 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
Apr
20
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
Apr
2
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 (tomglobal.org) 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 (tomglobal.org) 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
Mar
29
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
Mar
17
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.

HouseAUTO

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.

Gripper

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!

JARL

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 (berkeley.tomglobal.org) 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 (tomglobal.org) 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 →