Designing for Tremors

Published in June 2021

NI is collaborating with UTS Rapido and Northcott to rethink powerdrive wheelchair design for people who experience tremors.

Kyle is a fiercely independent woman who has a passion for catching up with friends, going to the club, and grabbing a coffee while getting her hair and nails done. Kyle also loves having a joke with others and sunny days when she can get out and about in her community.

Aside from her love of caffeine, Kyle has a traumatic brain injury and other disability support needs. For Kyle, her brain injury causes uncontrollable tremors in her arms and hands. These tremors make everyday activities such as driving her wheelchair and making a coffee challenging. The tremors also cause Kyle to frequently damage her wheelchair, break things within her home and at times injure herself. After decades of working alongside skilled therapists and technicians to find a better, safer way to drive her wheelchair, it’s time for NI to have a crack and find an innovative solution.

Thanks to a UTS Social Impact grant, NI is working with Kyle, UTS Rapido and Kyle’s Therapy and Housing teams to imagine, create and test a state-of-the-art solution to enable her to drive her wheelchair independently and safely. The work of this cross industry team is also set to tackle the global challenge of independent mobility for individuals who experience tremors, improving the quality of life of people with brain injuries, athetosis, Parkinson’s, and essential tremor.

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