Empowering Technology for Human Improvement
Advanced Learning Equipment to Service the Needs of the Cerebral Palsy Community.
At a reverse-pitch event, children with CP, their instructors, and parents spoke out about the learning capabilities that would be necessary and ideal for a new learning device. ETHI heard the voices of the Cerebral Palsy community and decided to help out. Many parents and instructors of children with Cerebral Palsy complained that current learning devices did not keep kids engaged in their learning activities. The kids also spoke out saying they wanted more chances to play games because their learning activities were not fun or appealing.
With the needs of children, parents, and instructors in mind, ETHI set out to create a device that would accommodate all the parties who use an ETHI learning device. ETHI decided to join the UCF I-Corps program to better solve the issues of their customer segment. The first benefit of the I-Corps program was that ETHI learned not to build a complete product right away. Instead, ETHI built a basic prototype and validated their assumptions by conducting 50+ customer interviews during the five-week I-Corps program. The solution ETHI came up with not only combined learning and gaming in an interactive way, but the software could also measure motor skill functionality of the user.
What ETHI found was that most children affected by Cerebral Palsy only have muscular dysfunctionality on one side of their body. It is crucial for teachers and parents to keep track of motor skill development to ensure that a child with CP is progressing at a normal pace. ETHI developed an interactive software could measure the orientation, acceleration, and pressure exerted on the screen and then store this data to create an index of the user’s motor skill development progress. The logged data can be compared to the functional side of the body or used as a timeline to see how much the child has improved in motor skill functionality from months or years past.
This invention was made possible with the collaboration of UCF’s Business Incubator Venture Development Manager Chait Renduchintala, as the Principle Investigator for the team, alongside ETHI’s Entrepreneurial Lead, Jean Paul Aliaga of Florida MEP. Hari Raghav of UCF participated as an additional team member. And a Technology Systems Integration expert, George Gamatikas, helped mentor the ETHI team and design their first prototype.
Looking Ahead: The ETHI team has already developed 10 new product prototypes to assist the special needs community and is even targeting the human performance and personal fitness markets with their interactive technology.