|Assistive Technology Rapid Integration and Construction Set - Open Source release ready for free download|
For more than 2 years Assistive Technology (AT) experts from 7 EU countries have been working on the EU-funded project AsTeRICS. In February 2012 the first publicly available Open Source version has been placed for free download on the AsTeRICS website (www.asterics.eu). Although AsTeRICS can be used with a specially developed embedded platform, it can also be used on any WinXP, Vista or Win7 system and therefore can now be used by both scientists and end users all over the world. Comprehensive user and developer manuals can also be downloaded and enable anyone with basic technical skills to set up AsTeRICS for use by disabled persons.
The open source licensing of AsTeRICS makes it possible for users to acquire it free of charge and for software developers interested in Assistive Technology to use and further develop the system. This will bring benefits to an even larger number of disabled persons by bringing them to the independent living.
For the user’s convenience all developed hardware modules described in the specification and manuals will be available by the end of 2012.
What is AsTeRICS?
More than 2,6 million people in Europe have problems with their upper limbs and therefore many of them depend on Assistive Technologies. As the potential of the individual user is very specific and can either evolve or decline in time, adaptive ICT-based solutions are needed to let this population group participate in modern society. Such solutions are rarely available on today's market.
AsTeRICS provides a flexible and affordable construction set for realising user driven Assistive Technologies by combining emerging sensor techniques like Brain-Computer Interfaces and computer vision with basic actuators. People with reduced motor capabilities now have a flexible and adaptable technology at hand which enables them to access the Human-Machine-Interfaces (HMI) of the standard desktop but in particular also of embedded systems like mobile phones or smart home devices.
AsTeRICS implements a set of building blocks for the realisation of Assistive Technologies:
Examples for the usage of AsTeRICS
Among others, some of the most interesting features of AsTeRICS are:
AsTeRICS revolutionises the concept of Assistive Technology: Assistive Technology today mostly focuses on a certain task or situation. Due to the growing importance of the PC, Assistive Technology has been oriented towards standard Human-Computer (HCI) or desktop interfaces. AsTeRICS respects the strong need for flexible, adaptable assistive functionalities accompanying people with disabilities away from the desktop, enabling them to interact with a diverse and fast changing set of deeply embedded devices in our modern environment.
Further updates of AsTeRICS Open Source will be available for download from the website in the near future. Also there is a forum available for feedback, questions to the developers and open discussions. For the forum, downloads and more information please refer to www.asterics.eu.
Project acronym: AsTeRICS
Project full title: Assistive Technology Rapid Integration & Construction Set
Programme: 7th Framework Programme of the EU
Grant Agreement No.: 247730
Starting Date: 1 January 2010
Duration: 36 Month
Effort: 423.25 Person Month
Budget: 3 383 468 Euro
Funding: 2 649 674 Euro