S.T.E.A.M. Fabrikarium Builds Assistive Tech in Mumbai

Starting this weekend, a group of 65 invited Maker’s from various disciplines, along with 20 awesome Mentors, will gather at the Maker’s Asylum in Mumbai for the five day S.T.E.A.M. Fabrikarium program. The aim is to improve the capabilities of the differently-abled by building and expanding upon existing open source projects. At the same time, the teams will learn more about rapid prototyping techniques.

Among the participants will be at least 15 differently-abled people who will be a part of the whole process of learning as well as providing their inputs on the problems being tackled. Participants have an opportunity to understand how design thinking works and work on improving the existing designs.

Participants will team up and choose from five existing open source projects:

  • Bionico – a myoelectric prosthesis
  • Braille rap – using a 3D printer as a braille embosser.
  • e-Trotti – a low-cost, removable electrical assistance for wheelchair use, made from electric scooter parts.
  • Project Shiva – customized and beautiful upper limb prosthetics.
  • Flying Wheelchair – a wheelchair specially adapted for use while paragliding.

The Asylum’s fully-fledged workshop facilities offer a wood shop, a laser cutter, a CNC, several 3D printers, electronics tools and instruments and an infectious environment that will allow the participants to learn a lot during the five short days. While working on prototyping their projects, all teams will have constant access to a team of mentors and industry experts who will help solve their problems and give guidance when necessary.

The Maker’s Asylum includes fully-fledged workshop facilities for the build process, and the team succeeded in bringing onboard a slew of industrial partners and supporters to ensure that the program can be offered to the participants for free. That is a great way to bring makerspaces, makers, and the industry together in a symbiotic program that benefits society. The program was developed in collaboration with My Human Kit, a company from France who selected the five open-source projects mentioned above. The Fabrikarium is made possible via Bonjour-India, which fosters Indo-French partnerships and exchanges.

Hackaday is proud to be a part of this program and will be present to help document all of the awesome projects. Participants will share their progress on Hackaday.io, so watch for updates over the coming week. To get an idea of what to expect at the S.T.E.A.M. Fabrikarium 2018, check out the video from an earlier version embedded below.

3 thoughts on “S.T.E.A.M. Fabrikarium Builds Assistive Tech in Mumbai

  1. Hate to sound negative, but I don’t it’s a good idea to have a rigid chair under you when paragliding, the lack of suspension could cause damage to the spine even with a not-so-hard landing.

    The Troti-e on the other hand is a very nice idea, don’t understand why is this not more common.

    1. Agreed, but taking off or landing without the wheelchair is also a problem. Any suspension added to the wheelchair would be overkill for normal use. Is this meant to be a normally usable wheelchair that also happens to work for paragliding, or is it paragliding specific? I’ve seen some flying wheelchair-like devices a few times when I’ve gone flying, but I never got a close look at one or talked to the people flying it.

      My harness has a ram-air airbag to protect my back, something like that might work. I was going to say bungees connecting the wheelchair to the wing, but that wouldn’t work if you are the pilot, and would change flying characteristics in undesirable ways. Maybe just big soft tires (not a bad idea anyway, given the terrain)

      Any other ideas?

      1. While I don’t own a flying wheelchair, I’ve been doing quite few tandem with it: most have small suspensions found in mountain bike and bulky useless disk brake.
        And actually it’s easier and smoother to land with a wheelchair as you don’t really care about ground speed: it will always roll where you probably could not keep up running.

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