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Assistive tech: Drive to destination, detach motor, enter venue (Assistive technology)

 From technology-enabled wheelchairs to prosthetic limbs, the ‘National Conference on Assistive Technology’ saw on display innovative devices that aim to make life easier for persons with disabilities (PWDs). The two-day event hosted by Mobility India, an organisation that has been working in the disability, development and rehabilitation sector, focusses on the theme: ‘improving access to quality and affordable assistive technology for everyone, everywhere.’ The theme emerges from the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which places “good health and well being for all at all ages as the centre of a new development vision.” It also coincides with Mobility India’s 25th year anniversary. Wheelchairs that turn into vehicles Among the exhibits that drew attention was ‘NeoFly’, a wheelchair by Neomotion — an assistive solution company, which can be converted into a three-wheeler. According to the company, NeoFly is a wheelchair designed for individual customisation, correct posture, energy conservation, and compactness, to enhance accessibility. Along with NeoFly, comes NeoBolt, a motor-powered clip-on which converts NeoFly into a safe, roadworthy vehicle. It eliminates the need to transfer into other vehicles and can be independently attached by the user within a short period of time. It has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and travels up to 30 km/charge. NeoBolt can be safely used on uneven terrains, the company representatives said, adding that it was designed to make people with disabilities more empowered and less dependent on others. Workspace-cum-chair Another assistive solution based company, Everest Engineers, presented a model of what they termed the ‘first workstation-cum-battery-run-wheelchair’ that empowers PWDs to work and rest at the same time. Navdeep Singh, Business Head, Everest Engineers, said the wheelchair, priced at ₹1.5 lakh, has an adjustable table and chair and a bumper in front that prevents the person from getting injured in an accident. The wheelchair can be adjusted according to the needs of the person, depending on the terrain around them, their height and weight. Artificial limbs manufacturing corporation of India (ALIMCO), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, had displayed a motorised tricycle — TD 2A 65. Costing ₹42,000, it is given for free to people who can produce an 80% disability certificate, income proof, and national ID card. The conference, which is being held at the NIMHANS Convention Centre, will conclude on Saturday. Entry is free and open for all.