Helping disabled students design with their eyes

The team behind a tool that helps disabled students design and print objects in 3D using only their eyes is hoping to secure funding to take the project further.

The SHIVA (Sculpture for Healthcare: Interaction and Virtual Art in 3D) software was developed by a multidisciplinary team including technologists and experts in computer animation.

It has been designed to be customised for use by people with different kinds of disabilities. For example, the interface can be set as a touch-screen or as an eye-gaze system.

The screen colours and display size can also be adjusted to suit different disabilities.

The user can build an object of their choosing by selecting a number of different objects and placing them on to a single stick. These objects can be modified and rotated and the stick can also be removed.

The object can then be 3D-printed to give the students a tangible model of their creativity.

Professor Alexander Pasko of the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University is part of the team that Developed the SHIVA tool. He says it aims to “give children the tools for their creativity” when they might have “great imaginations but almost no tools to express themselves”.

The technology has been adapted with disability charity Livability and is in use at the Victoria Education Centre, a school for children with physical disabilities.

The SHIVA team says it hopes to secure further funding to develop the software.

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