November 2016: FlipMouse among the 20 Hackaday price finalists!
The Hackaday blog can be considered as something like "the unofficial bible for the usual electronics aficionado / computer nerd" (so obligatory reading matter for us). The "Hackaday price" is an international competition of DIY-/open source projects which yields an enourmous impact with thousands of entries - many of great quality and creativity. We are proud to announce that our FlipMouse open source project landed among the 20 finalists in the Assistive Technology category. Want to find out more ? Read the project log about the FlipMouse on our project pages at Hackaday.io - and read the Hackaday blog post Brian Benchoff wrote about our assistive device - this is awesome !!
October 2016: FlipMouse + Eyetracking scores at the WinTec price!
The WinTec Price is a national competition amoung Austrian Universities and academic institutions in the sector of applied Assisitve Technology, funded by the Austrian Government. We are happy to announce that we won the second price of this year's WinTec Award with the combination of FlipMouse + Eyetracking for efficient computer control / musical instruments for people with motor restriction. The Award includes a publication of our work and 5000€ price money ! - Our plan is to donate this money for FlipMouse material, supporting people who need an assisitive technology device for computer use but cannot afford to buy one. The picture below shows Chris, Benjamin and Martin at the WinTec ceremony, together with O.Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Sabine Seidler - headmistress of the Technical University Vienna - handing over the price. (Oct. 6th, 2016, ministry for social affairs, Vienna)
September 2016: The AsTeRICS Academy is over - long live the AsTeRICS Academy
With September 1st, 2016 the AsTeRICS Academy project is officially finalized: All project work packages have been accomplished and the Summer School program has been successfully implemented twice. So now we can go for holidays, right ! ;-) Although the original AsTeRICS Academy Team with Veronika, Angelina, Martin, Benjamin and Chris can not continue in this configuration because of other projects and duties, we will definitely keep this work (and this website) alive ! - Asterics-academy.net already serves as a collection of Assistive Tools and links - and we will continue to update the content of this site with infos about follow-up activities, and infos about assistive technology applications and cooperations! - Long live the AsTeRICS Academy !
Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology 2016 is finished
The second Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology is now history. Dear participants, we thank you very much for coming from all over the world to our Summer School, for your active participation and for making this Summer School such a success! We wish you all the best and please keep us informed about your future developments of assistive tools and solutions.
Your AsTeRICS Academy Team
July 2016: The 2nd edition of Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology has started!
Since July 11th twentynine international students are at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien to studying further in the topic of Assistive Technlogy! We are looking forward to an extensive exchange of knowledge.
April 2016: AsTeRICS Academy @ "Lange Nacht der Forschung 2016"
The long night of research (Lange Nacht der Forschung) is an austrian event with free entry - thus everybody can have an insight in austrian research projects at different departments. The University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien is a fixed point in the program of this night. On April 22nd nearly 600 visitors came to our University where our project was one of nine exhibition booths.
Lange Nacht der Forschung 2016 - AsTeRICS Academy presented their assistive tools at the "long night of research 2016" - (c)FHTW/Baumgartner
The Unikate Award goes to... our interns
On April 11th, the award winners of the "UNIKATE" award 2015 was invited to present their assistive solutions in the UNIQA Tower (Vienna). All of the winning projects are from students of the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien. They studied the bachelor program Biomedical Engineering and did their internship within the Department of Embedded Systems. The "UNIKATE" ideas competition was raised from UNIQA insurance group and the Austrian national Council of Disabled Persons (ÖAR) to support the development of individual, customized assistive technology solutions for persons with disabilities.
Following students were honored for their projects:
- Amadea Sophie Hiess: One-button interface for basal stimulation and communication aid
- Cornelia Salomon: Eytracking-based musical instrument for a musician with muscle dystrophy
- Armin Schmoldas: Alternative control system for PC-games
- Christoph Ulbinger: Game and PC control throuh eyetracking, zero-way-joystick and ergnonomic button interface
The students was supervised by the project team of AsTeRICS Academy. They used AsTeRICS and the AsTeRICS Academy assistive tools for the realization of their projects. We are proud that our interns were honored for their work which resulted in their Bachelor's Thesis.
Dr. Peter Eichler (UNIQA Insurance Group), Christoph Ulbinger (Award winner), Amadea Sophie Hiess (Award winner), Mag.a Eringard Kaufmann (general secretary ÖAR), Armin Schmoldas (Award winner), DI Georg Edelmayer (Centre for Applied Assistive Technologies, Technical University Vienna) and Cornelia Schmoldas (Award winner) - (from left to right).
(c) UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG/rudifroese
April 2016: AsTeRICS Academy @ Maker Faire VIENNA 2016
The Maker Faire is described as "The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth - a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celeration of the Maker movement" and we were right in the middle of it. On April the 9th and 10th Chris Veigl and Benjamin Aigner presented our Open Source Assistive Tools at the Maker Faire Vienna. It was a great event with a lot of visitors. If you want to know more about our Open Source Assistive Tools, just click here.
Maker Faire Vienna: AsTeRICS Academy presented Open Source DIY Assistive Tools. Right: Benjamin Aigner and Chris Veigl at the exhibition stand
Innovative Practices 2016 Award at Zero Project Conference for AsTeRICS Academy
Overwhelming impressions at the fifth Zero Project Conference on "Inclusive Education and ICT" where our project AsTeRICS Academy was honored with an Innovative Practice 2016 award. We are very proud that the project was choosen, as the international field of projects was just oustanding.
AsTeRICS Academy at Zero Project Conference: Benjamin Aigner (left) and Veronika David (right) at our exhibition stand
January 2016: AsTeRICS Academy @ DBT Panel discussion about Smart Home and Active Assisted Living
Benjamin Aigner and Veronika David from the AsTeRICS Academy team participated with Markus Vincze from the Technical University Vienna at a panel discussion about Smart Home and Active Assisted Living. This event was organized by the Austrian press agency APA in a series of events called "Digital Business Trends". The two presented results from the AsTeRICS Academy project, e.g. the individual solutions to control a PC via AsTeRICS or the AsTeRICS Academy FABI and FLipMouse. After the panel discussion we had the chance to foster our networks and raise awareness for Assistive Technology and our project results.
AsTeRICS Academy @DBT: Smart Home/Active Assisted Living: Top: Veronika David from the AsTeRICS Academy team, Markus Vincze (TU Vienna), Benjamin Aigner from the AsTeRICS Academy team and Marcus Hebebein (moderation, APA) presented and discussed about Smart Homes and Active Assisted Living at a DBT Event at the "Haus der Musik" in Vienna
(c) APA Fotoservice/Roßboth
AsTeRICS Academy as 'best practice' of Open Innovations
Our research project AsTeRICS Academy was choosen as best practice example for Open Innovations, an initiative of the Austrian government to support new approaches which think outside the box. One goal of this initiative is to remove existing barriers in developing processes. Open Innovation is referred as "the use of purpsive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively." (Henry Chesbrough)
November 2015: AsTeRICS Academy goes Kenya
During a 7-days journey through Kenya, two members of the AsTeRICS Academy Team visited the MERU University of Science and Technology (MUST) and several special schools and small homes for children with disability in Kenya. Together with the academic partners at the MUST University a proposal for an APPEAR academic partnership will be developed: the "Competence network for eInclusion and Assistive Technology". If successful, collaborative strategies for the application of Open Source Assistive Technology in Kenya and Zimbabwe can be developed and implemented in a 4 years timeframe.
AsTeRICS Academy goes Kenya: Project leader Chris Veigl and team member Benjamin Aigner with colleagues from the MERU University of Science and Technology (MUST) in front of the administration building (c) Sophography (Sophia Rührer)
Chris Veigl explaining AsTeRICS Academy Assistive tool in his guest lecture at MERU University of Science and Technology (MUST) (c) Sophography (Sophia Rührer)
Chris Veigl and Benjamin Aigner visited the MERU School for mentally challenged children (c) Sophography (Sophia Rührer)
7th ICT Innovations Conference 2015, Ohrid, Macedonia
The 7th ICT Innovation Conference in Ohrid, Macedonia took place from 1st to 4th October 2015. The AsTeRICS Academy presented their work at an exhibition stand where conference participants could try out, among other things, a music interface controllable with head movements, a communication grid controllable with an Tobii eyetracker - both implemented with AsTeRICS - as well as the AsTeRICS Academy FLipMouse and FABI as alternative input methods.
Chris Veigl (back) explaining a communication grid to a conference participant (front) at the AsTeRICS Academy exhibition stand at the 7th ICT Innovation Conference 2015
In the scientific session of the conference Martin Deinhofer presented the paper 'Online offset correction of remote eye tracking data: A novel approach for accurate gaze-based mouse cursor control' (C. Veigl, V. David, M. Deinhofer, B. Aigner, 2015) which received the Best Paper Award.
Martin Deinhofer presenting the paper Online offset correction of remote eye tracking data: A novel approach for accurate gaze-based mouse cursor control in the scientific sessions at the 7th ICT Innovation Conference 2015
Accessibility Day 2015, Vienna, Austria
On 25th September 2015, accessible media organized the A-Tag 2015 (Accessibilty Day 2015) in Vienna, Austria. The AsTeRICS Academy was represented by Benjamin Aigner and Veronika David who had a slot in the program to introduce the AsTeRICS framework and the work done in the AsTeRCIS Academy project. They presented different assistive solutions to make controlling a PC accessible for people with motor impairments. Especially the accessible gaming solutions were very well received.
Benjamin Aigner standing at the speacher's desk on the stage of the the Accessibility Day 2015 presenting the AsTeRICS Framework for flexible assistive solutions.
Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology 2015 Farewell
The Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology 2015 is over. Thanks for your participation - it was a very fruitful week and we hope you learnt a lot and had a lot of fun, too.
The AsTeRICS Academy Team
July 2015: Vienna Summer School for Assistive Technology 2015 has started!
Viennas first Summer School for Assistive Technology is on: Since July 11th thirty international students are studying further in the topic of Assistive Technology!
May 2015: "Barrierefreiheit im Kopf" (accessibility in mind) - art exhibition for an inclusive society
From May, 5th to 12th 2015 Lifespan organised an art exhibition for an inclusive society to arise awareness for inclusive art. In course of this exhibition, AsTeRICS Academy provided an art installation where users can make music with head movements and just one switch. A quite similar music interface is also used by Harry Hötzinger to play the keyboard in the Jazzband "AsTeRICS and the Toilers of Tune". The band gave a live-performance at the opening event of "Barrierefreiheit im Kopf", which was very well received by the audition. The AsTeRICS Academy team is impressed, too!
For more information about the accessible music interface, have a look at Assistive Tools - Chordion & Freaky Tricky.
AsTeRICS and the Toilers of Tune at the opening event of "Barrierefreiheit im Kopf". From left to right: Harry Hötzinger (music interface with AsTeRICS and PureData - keyboard), Petra Feuerstein (voc), Leo Geist (behind Petra - drums), Georg Schmelzer-Ziringer (bass) and Andi Sagmeister (banjo).
April 2015: AsTeRICS Academy in Kazakhstan
Two team members of the AsTeRICS Academy (Benjamin Aigner, Martin Deinhofer) travelled to Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan from April 27th to May 2nd to attend the Healthcare and Rehabilitation Technlogy conference of the Eurasia Pacific Uninet (EPU) at the Korkyt Ata Kyzylorda State University. Additionally, they were invited to visit the cosmodrome in Baikonur City and the Baikonur investment forum.
In a first presentation, Benjamin and Martin gave an overview about Assistive Technology and introduced the Assistive Tools that are provided by the AsTeRICS Academy. In a second workshop the participants learned how to build flexible configurable assistive switches with FABI (the Flexible Assistive Button Interface developed by the AsTeRICS Academy team). On the last day, the delegation got the opportunity to visit a school for people with visual impairments.
We would like to thank Martin Kimmel (EPU) and Temirbolat Kenshinbay (Korkyt Ata Kyzylorda State University) for the organization and the hosting of the conference.
Participants of the EPU Healthcare and Rehabilitation conference
Participants of the WPU Healthcare and Rehabilitation conference working with the FABI
Students at the school for people with visual impairments
April 2015: AsTeRICS Academy in Zimbabwe
From 7th to 21st of April, three team members of the AsTeRICS Academy went to Zimbabwe to hold workshops and meet cooperation partners, including the Signs of Hope trust Zimbabwe, the Miracle Missions Trust, the Jairos Jiri Association, the King George VI Centre and the National University of Science and Technology.
The AsTeRICS Academy team members with representatives from the cooperation partners of Signs of Hope Trust, Miracle Mission Trust and Jairos Jiri Center
In the workshops the participants learn about our Assistive Tools and how they can adapt them to individual needs of people with disabilities. To learn more about our Assistive Tools, click here. For more impressions of our journey to Zimbabwe, have a look in our Zimbabwe Gallery.
We are very glad that we were invited by the Signs of Hope Trust to establish all these fruitful cooperations. A special thanks goes to Samantha Sibanda, who organized the whole schedule! Thank you so much - you are awesome!
Therese Willkomm @ AsTeRICS Academy Assistive Technology Summer School
We are very proud to announce that Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., known as "The McGyver" of assistive technology, will come to our Summer School and give a guest lecture about creating assistive technology solutions in five minutes or less. Therese Willkomm is the director of ATinNH (New Hampshire state wide assistive technology program with the Institute on Disability), holds a Ph.D. in rehabilitation technology and has over 25 years experience in providing and managing assistive technology services.
ATinNH provides AT in Minutes How-To Video Clips on its youtube channel. Furthermore, Therese Willkomm and two graduate students held workshops in India to promote the development and use of low-budget assistive technology - an insight into these workshops you will find here.
Currently, she is working on her third book of the series "Assistive Technology solutions in minutes" in which she describes how to use inexpensive, ordinary items to create individual assistive technology.
Steve Lee @ AsTeRICS Academy Assistive Technology Summer School
The name for open accessibility - Steve Lee! Steve Lee is co-founder and partner of OpenDirective bringing open development benefits to users and developers of projects including accessibility and assistive technology. His personal mission is "to bring users, developers and others together through open development to create innovative and meaningful technology solutions using appropriate technologies and standards."
At our Summer School he will give a guest lecture describing a framework for creating simple HTML apps through selecting building 'bricks' and hooking them up. Building bricks include those of general purpose utility and others designed specifically for accessibility. This eases the creation of personalised assistive technology tools and encourages research into approaches suitable for people with cognitive disabilities and low digital literacy.
Inclusion Day 2014, Vienna, Austria
The 2nd Austrian 'Inclusion Day' took place on the 17th November 2014 in Vienna and the AsTeRICS Academy was represented there. We showed some demo usecases with AsTeRICS, e.g. controlling the computer/environment with one switch, with facetracking or with the lipmouse, respectively. It was very interesting to get in touch with possible users and/or their relatives, as well as with service organisations exhibited there.
Martin Deinhofer at our exhibition stand at the 'Inclusion Day' 2014.
ITHET 2014, York, Great Britain
From September 11th to 13th, AsTeRICS Academy team member Martin Deinhofer participated in the Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training Conference - ITHET 2104 in York, GB. It was a very nice conference with interesting lectures and a good possibility to establish new contacts, which are always very important for us.
Martin presented the paper "The AsTeRICS Academy for Cross-Cultural Education in Assistive Technologies - Strategies for fostering diversity in electrical engineering and information technology" and was honoured with the "Best Presenter" award. Before his departure he said - "I will take the cup home" - and he actually did it. Congratulations, Martin, well done! We are very proud of you!
TV-report on Assistive Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien
The ORF sent a report on Assistive Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien. In this report some alternative input options, all realised with AsTeRICS, are introduced, like controlling your environment with an eyeblink or controlling the mouse cursor with the lipmouse. The FLipmouse is a sip-and-puff assistive device developed by the master student Robert Haderer and the project leader of the AsTeRICS Academy Christoph Veigl. With the FLpmouse one can simultaneaously control the mouse cursor by fine lip movements and perform mouse clicks by sip-and-puff actions. Additonally, Harry Hötzinger, the first FLipmouse-user and actually the reason for the development of the mouse, shows how he can control a PC and make everyday matters like surfing the net, doing banking online or playing PC games. For him, its regaining a little piece of self-determination. All these was shown in the ArT-Lab of the Department of Embedded Systems at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien.
Unfortunately, the whole report is in German, but in the first video the most important part of the report is subtitled.
Here is the whole report in German:
August 2014: Fotoshooting with the FLipmouse
A new star is born - the FLipmouse. It is a sip-and-puff assistive device developed by the master student Robert Haderer and the project manager of the AsTeRICS Academy Christoph Veigl. With the FLipmouse one can simultaneaously control the mouse cursor by fine lip movements and perform mouse clicks by sip-and-puff actions. If you want to know more about the FLipmouse, a DIY-assistive tool with open source construction plans, have a look at the descriptions on our homepage >> FLipmouse.
The AsTeRICS Academy Lipmouse is produced from off-the-shelf components and by using rapid prototyping tools. In the version depicted in the photos, the plastic mouthpiece is a product by quadjoy.com, Street Electric Manufacturing Co.
July 2014: AsTeRICS Academy Topics @ MedTec Summer Academy
As a first trial for our Summer School next year, three topics of the AsTeRICS Academy were brought in at the MedTec Summer Academy. The three topics were: first, the creation of a new sensor plug-in for the AsTeRICS System with an embedded insole, second, the development of game control possibilites with AsTeRICS for kids with handicaps and last, but not least the further development of the AsTeRICS lipmouse to protect the PCB inside against saliva and moisture.
The students worked very hard and the results at the end of the week were really awesome. We would to like to thank them for their good work and of course the MedTec Summer Academy for the nice cooperation. This week was very fruitful!
June 2014: International Delegation from Nepal and Bhutan
In the course of an Eurasia Pacific Uninet-Project called "Healthcare and Rehabilitation Technology" an international Delegation from Nepal and Bhutan visited the team of the AsTeRICS Academy at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien from 3rd to 6th June 2014.
The two representatives of the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Nepal, Karuna Pokharel and Mukesh Mandal, participated in an AsTeRICS workshop, where they learned to use the AsTeRICS system for the creation of individually adoptable assistive solutions for children suffering from muscular dystrophy. We hope they enjoyed their stay as well as the workshop and that they take lots of impresses and knowledge about assistive technologies back to Nepal.
May 2014: AsTeRICS workshop at the CVUT Prague
The first AsTeRICS workshop took place at the Czech Technical University in Prague on May, the 6th 2014.
The participants learned about basic functions of the AsTeRICS System and they created in small groups own solutions for different tasks like the implementation of an environmental control, an alternative mouse using push buttons, an alternative keyboard using EMG input and acceleration sensors or to implement an accessible pong game with AsTeRICS.
We had a lot of fun and we hope the participants, too! If you are interessted in the content of this workshop, you will find the documents in the Download section.