Workshop on Assistive Tech by ICFOSS, Austria's AsTeRICS Academy

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 19: The two-day workshop, jointly conducted by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous organisation under the Kerala government’s IT Department, and AsTeRICS Academy in Austria to provide Assistive Technology to people with motor disabilities, concluded at ICFOSS in Technopark here on Tuesday.   

Commenced on December 18, The Austrian team from the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien led the workshop for the assembling and production of various products they have developed, including award-winning Flip Mouse.

AsTeRICS Academy will support ICFOSS for developing its capabilities in a range of assistive tools to support individuals with motor disorders for using computers and other electronic equipment. Availability of free software and free design of hardware makes costly technologies affordable to local community.

 “This will be a milestone in Kerala's efforts in using Assistive Technology for the welfare of the masses, especially marginalised sections of the society,” said Shri M. Shivasankar, Secretary, Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of Kerala. “ICFOSS is poised to take a lead in this regard and it has already established a research facility jointly with College of Engineering Trivandrum,” he added.

FlipMouse acts as an alternative input device for challenged people who prefer or need other input variants than a standard computer mouse or keyboard. Using a FlipMouse, keyboard and mouse activities can be created via slightest finger or mouth interaction. This enables precise control of computer mouse or keyboard actions. Click activities can be created via sip and puff activities, or by attaching external switches to the FlipMouse device. This can be used to control wheelchairs, play games on computers and other activities.

FlipMouse was among the 20 Hackaday price finalists at the international competition of DIY-open source projects in November 2016.

“These technologies and products will be offered to ICFOSS as a Do-It-Yourself construction kit, not as an assembled and tested product, said Dr Jayashankar Prasad, Director, ICFOSS. “This will help us in the production of the equipment at very low cost,” he added.  ICFOSS would work with AsTeRICS Academy to develop the technology further. The dissemination of technology in India is also a priority, he said.

The Austrian team consists of Benjamin Aigner, Department of Embedded Systems; Veronika David, Department of Biomedical, Health & Sports Engineering; Martin Deinhofer, Department of Embedded Systems; Angelina Kratschanova, Summer School Organisation; and Christoph Veigl, Project leader, Department of Embedded Systems.


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