Product design inventions from University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC) have been named on the UK’s ‘100 best breakthrough list’ for their significant impact on people’s everyday lives.
ATiC, part of UWTSD Swansea College of Art, has a demonstrable track-record in providing practice-based research and development to support medical companies and healthcare related charities.
ATiC’s work is primarily human-centred and design-led which enables researchers to apply creative interventions to improve health and wellbeing.
The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.
UWTSD submitted ATiC to the 100 list in order to demonstrate the impact that its research has made, including through its partnership with Cerebra, a leading research charity working to support children with neurological conditions.
The team has developed a number of bespoke product design solutions to enable children to play, increase their mobility and to make family life easier.
When commercially available products do not fulfil the child’s complex needs, the Cerebra team designs and manufactures bespoke products for them in order to achieve their maximum potential and be included in mainstream activities.
Over 10 years, the team has developed many bespoke products to aid the daily living challenges of children with a range of neurological conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy. ATiC works with Cerebra to provide industry focused academic support for research and innovation. This can include supporting the development of prototypes and advice on manufacturing.
The products, when possible, are licensed to third-party companies to generate a royalty fee for the partnership. They have included:
- a stable canoe and a running/cycling wheelchair to enable two young girls to take part in triathlons.
- a scanning and moulding process to enable the manufacture of a bespoke helmet to enable the boy to horse ride with his school friends.
- mobile supportive seating and an automated ramp to enable young people to participate in sport including ice skating and surfing, as well as to help with sleep and sensory feedback.
Image credit: Adam Davies, 2018