Asia-Pacific, Transportation, Universal Design, August 5 2019
GOA, INDIA: Cars offer comfort but not as much for elderly and disabled persons who find it tough to board and alight four-wheelers independently. A team of four students from Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda, has now created an option. A special seat created by the students can help elderly and disabled persons get in and out of car without assistance. It can even be operated using a mobile phone, making it easier to operate without a second human around. The solution came out of a college project by students Johnashua Quadros, Leejoy Pereira, Sharveya Kunde and Ryan Fernandes of the electronics and telecommunication engineering department of Don Bosco College of Engineering.
The project was created under the guidance of professor Deron Rodrigues. In this project, a car seat has been designed that can rotate outwards when a person wants to enter so as to enable a comfortable entry and vice versa when a person wants to exit, Quadros said. “This project will come as a boon not just for persons with disabilities but also for those suffering from back pain, knee pain, and arthritis. It will meet the needs of several senior citizens who avoid travelling simply because they find it difficult to get in and out of the vehicle,” said Pereira. The students have called their creation ‘Smart car seat for differently-abled’. A standard car is intended for people who are not physically challenged, but the seat developed by them, say the students, can now make transport efficient and foster independent living for all with its barrier-free design.
“The passenger can operate the seat using a mobile phone. The moment a person presses the ‘Ingress’ button, the car seat will rotate outwards and move forward for the passenger to be seated comfortably. After the person sits, he or she presses the ‘Return’ button to go back to the original position. The seat can be operated in similar way when the person wishes to move out of the car,” said Kunde. They hope their design will aid mobility for elderly and disabled persons without physical assistance of either family members or friends.