Dr. Anil Prabhakar, Professor at the Dept of Electrical Engineering and Pradeep. T, Director of Enability Foundation.
Challenge: Common devices are inaccessible for people with low motor skills – children with cerebral palsy, people with visual impairment etc.
Innovation: Working closely with IIT Chennai Assistive Technologies Lab Enability Technologies a social enterprise, has developed iGest. iGest is a kinematic sensor based system that is designed to learn a child’s existing motor capacity through a gesture recognition algorithm. Movement is captured with a kinematic sensor (accelerometers, gyroscopes) installed in a wearable device. Through sensors, gross movement – arm movements, head movement and gestures are recognized and recorded. The system then learns gesture models that are natural to the child. These are then associated with a dictionary of sentences or actions and this data can be transmitted to a phone. This data can be used to assist the child in using a certain device or even to reinforce motor skills by encouraging arm movement to play video games. The unique contribution of this system is that it harnesses existing motor capacity and movement in children to enable communication.