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World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge

Well World Cup dreams may be over for the England Rugby squad but that does not mean the tournament is over, not a by a long shot. And it is not the final whistle for England supporter’s either, as from the 12th to the 16th of October, while the Rugby teams take a break to recoup for the knock-out stages, the Copper Box Arena will be hosting the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. Despondent  England fans will be able to reinvigorate their enthusiasm as they watch Team GB take on Australia, Japan and France in Pool B of the Challenge, in the hope of facing the USA, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa on their way to victory in the final and a strong performance at last years Invictus Games means there are high hopes for Team GB.

What is Health Tech?

Tonight the winner of the AXA PPP Health Tech & You awards is to be announced during an event at the Design Museum where the contending projects are on display. Among the candidates is the Bruise suit, an impact detection system for people with paraplegia developed by students at Imperial College London and the RCA as part of the Sports Innovation Challenge. Also in contention is a project by former SIC student and IDE graduate Anna Wojdecka. Lumo is a real time graphic reader for blind and visually impaired people which translates lines and colours into vibration and sound. Both of these projects are both technically interesting developments and provide a benefit to the user, but possibly neither is what you would think of immediately as being Health Tech.

Ahead of the pack

An inspirational story from the BBC news pages today, follows a 10 year old boy playing Rugby for his local team, Chorley Panthers. Ben Seward was born with his right arm only partially formed, but through determination and the support of his friends and family he has rapidly become one of the most valued players on the Panthers’ under-11’s team.

It may be unusual for a Blog focused on assistive technology and sporting innovation but this is purely a story of strong will and determination and refusal to be limited by physical impairment.

Team BRUISE International finalists in the Dyson Awards

Everyone at the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge is excited to see that a team of Innovation Design Engineering  and Global Innovation Design students are International Runners-Up in this years Dyson Awards with their RTSIC project BRUISE.

This innovative concept uses technology developed by Fujifilm, for the printing and moulding industries, to demonstrate when a paraplegic athlete has received an impact which may have caused internal damage.

Finishing as International Runners-Up rounds-up an amazing year for the team who have demonstrated their project at a Bike Experience Day with Talan Skeels-Piggins. Tested it with the UK Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball team in the run-up to the Invictus Games and have been interviewed by BBC News.

Countdown to Invictus

It’s nearly here, after an intense organisation period, the inaugural Invictus Games is due to open on Wednesday the 10th of September with an opening ceremony at 18:30 on the South Lawn of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As part of the BBC’s coverage of the Invictus Games last night BBC2 aired an hour long program called Countdown to the Invictus Games: Meet the Warriors. The program put the spotlight on a handful for injured servicemen who will be taking part in the Games as part of the UK Armed Forces team. Particular attention was focused on Capt. Dave Henson and Senior Aircraftman Mike Goody who have both played key parts in the development of RTSIC projects such as Murr-Ma.

Bruise Suit on the BBC

Last Thursday/Friday you might have seen Dan and Ming from Team Bruise on BBC news demonstrating the Bruise suit with the UK Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball team. As we get closer to the inaugural Invictus Games the Wheelchair Basketball team where in training at the Stoke Mandeville stadium in Buckinghamshire. Dan and Ming went along to present the suit and to see what the reaction was.

World Cup kicked off with the aid of an Exoskeleton

Yesterday the World Cup kicked off with flamboyant carnival spirit. But you may have missed at the centre of it all the first kick of the official World Cup ball being made by Juliano Pinto, a 29 year old with complete paralysis of the lower trunk. This was achieved by means of a mind-controlled Exoskeleton developed by Brazilian neuroscientist Dr Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University.

Dr Miguel Nicolelis is a leading expert in the field of brain-machine interface development working as part of the “Walk Again Project” consortium.

You can see Dr Etienne Burdet of Imperial College discussing exoskeleton development as part of a BBC article on exoskeletons and their use in rehabilitation.

Millie Knight tries out concept helmet at Imperial

Millie Knight popped into Imperial College yesterday to speak to Giulio Ammendola, one of the IDE students working on the Glimpse helmet as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge. The haptic feedback system was really well received by Millie who found the experience both “surreal” and “amazing”.

It was great to catch-up with Millie again following her amazing experiences at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi earlier this year.

RTSIC at Imperial Festival

The Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge stand received a good level of interest at last weekends Imperial Festival. Projects on show included 2nd year Bioengineering projects – the MechoHorse (rehabilitation aid for young people with spinal injuries), an instrumented bicycle and wheelchair as well as projects from the Innovation Design Engineering and Global Innovation Design courses, such as Theia, Glimpse and the interactive VI skiing game Guide Me, which proved a big hit with the visitors.