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Researchers from Alicante design an air launcher for athletes with disabilities
18 November 2013
Researchers from the University of Alicante and Miguel Hernández University of Elche have developed an air launcher that allows accurate missile air launch to people who lack the capacity to grasp the projectile and the realization of the movement chain needed for these types of releases.
This novel device, designed by the research group in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences of the UA and by the faculty of the Department of Communication Engineering (Area of Electronics) of the University Miguel Hernández (UMH), is based on an automated tool that allows performing airdrops, technical assistance aimed at athletes with severe motor dysfunction, athletes who can not catch or throw a projectile in the proper direction and speed, and athletes that may require the use of an assistive device for the action of releasing.
"People with physical disabilities affecting the upper body which prevent the action of picking up an object and throwing it, require technical aids that allow and encourage motor development and the development of the body scheme”, Núria Caus Pertegaz explains, a University of Alicante’s lecturer and person responsible for this research work.
"Nowadays, there are assistive devices to carry roll-on or upwards launches that are called gutters. However, they do not allow the realization of an air launch, making it necessary to create an instrument to make this kind of basic skill easier”, Nuria Caus says.
"The designed device has significant advantages, highlighting aerial distance and precision launching. Its application scope is focused on its use in leisure time, rehabilitation and educational uses and sports competition. And also, in relation to the necessary support staff, this launching system only requires auxiliary staff to support the choice and placement of the projectile on the instrument, as the direction and strength of shot are regulated by electronics and it is also possible to use it in manual mode”, Nuria Caus concludes.
This technology is ready to be transferred to potential companies interested in commercial exploitation.