Keay-Bright, W. (2014) Towards Independence: Using motion sensing technologies to amplify the abilities of adults with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Recent Advances in Assistive Technology & Engineering, RAatE 2014
RAatE 2014 is the only UK conference focused on the latest innovations and developments in assistive technology (AT).
Last week I took part in the first Picademy Wales, thanks to Raspberry Pi, who are funding our new project Somatopia.
It was in at the deep end for me as I haven’t touched any real programming since my experiments with Lingo! The Pi team were great, we covered so much ground in two days, but the best thing was getting to grips with the Pi Camera. Thanks to Carrie Ann for the book “Adventures in Raspberry Pi“. This book is great for getting started.
More on Somatopia in the next few months but the aim is use the inherent accessibility of RaspberryPi to teach people how to co-create interactive artworks.
We will start by migrating some of the most popular aspects of ReacTickles, Somantics, Somability and Somatopia over the RaspberryPi, and then experiment with developing some simple coding modules to allow others to generate their own experimental artworks.
Most importantly we will create resources that help people to visualise their ideas. The methods we will demonstrate are based on human centred, participatory design, encouraging novice developers to imagine and test without having to go any where near a line of code. To quote Pete, “Technology is not an idea”.
A celebratory event was held on 11th November in the Wales Millennium Centre. The event constituted a brief introduction to the project, followed by a dance performance and “open mic”, where members of the audience could join in. The public stage was adapted for wheelchair users and guests from academia, the arts, service provision, Welsh Assembly Government, RCT local authority, and the media. The performers from the Gadlys Centre, together with Zoe from Artis Community, were very relaxed and moved with ease. The more formal, choreographed, introductory dance was followed by approximately half an hour of service user led pieces, some individual and some collaborative. Everyone enjoyed themselves, so much so that the WMC has invited us back to do an even bigger performance. Congratulations everyone!