The client has been designing and supplying products to enhance the independence and quality of life for people with special needs for more than forty years. They are regarded as leaders in Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT), Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) and are approved suppliers of Electronic Assistive Technology products and services to the NHS.
The client had recently purchased another company for its group and this unit came to them as a part finished design. The brief was to work alongside the clients own software and electronic design team and to rework the original product design to reduce costs, incorporate a larger battery pack and improve the mounting mechanism. This involved reconfiguring the internal arrangement and redesigning the original enclosure as an injection moulding.
The client wished to keep the original styling for continuity in the marketplace and this was adapted to suit the new requirements. The unit is a voice output communication aid, computer and controller. The enclosure was required to be tough enough to be wheelchair mounted and particular attention was needed to make the unit capable of being used outdoors and withstand shocks and vibration encountered over rough terrain. The unit was developed using 3D CAD in close collaboration with the clients own engineers. The final design was evaluated using rapid prototypes prior to commissioning all tooling from 3D data and control drawings.