This space will be used be to make announcements and updates on Project Emma! Do visit this space from time to time 🙂
So… you guys are probably wondering: How did Project Emma begin?
Well, Project Emma actually began as a school project where some of our team members were required to explore assistive and rehabilitation technologies. During that time, some team members had volunteered to be a facilitator for an outing trip for a beneficiary who supported people with disability and this outing was specifically for those who used a wheelchair. Through interaction with the participants, we soon realized that travelling on a self-propelled wheelchair* was a tiring experience despite it being an everyday activity for these wheelchair users. Interestingly, despite the numerous motorized aids in the market, only 30% of the people in the trip owned a motorized mobility aid (e.g. mobility scooters) to help make travelling more convenient.
*self-propelled: wheelchairs which require users to manually propel themselves i.e. non-motorized.
Hence, Project Emma was born!
We looked around and realized that there were two other groups of users who seem to have low adoption rates of motorized mobility devices despite its benefits. These two groups were the elderly community and those who incurred short term injuries. For the elderly community, wheelchair users generally use pushchairs and are usually reliant on caregivers for travelling. For them, travelling is not strenuous but instead lacks freedom.
Since then, we have been learning more about our target audience and their true needs to come up with a suitable device. In the long run, we understand that the perfect product for each target group may differ but overall, Project Emma aims to bring mobility for the masses.
After a year of pursuing this project alongside our studies and other co-curricular commitments, we have since completed our second prototype. Currently, we are intending to place greater focus on this project and have also gathered more team members and applied to pursue this as a final year project in our university where we will be given mentorship and academic expertise.
Here is a video of our first prototype in action:
Our second prototype will be featured in our Kickstarter which will be launching in less than 10 days! Look out for that 🙂
We are currently in the midst of testing our second prototype with users and receiving feedback on the concept as well as design. We have also recently went to Shenzhen, the “Silicon Valley for Hardware”, on a school trip to learn more about manufacturing process and hardware accelerators and have also linked up with a few potential suppliers. Stay tuned for our Shenzhen trip which will be featured in our next post!