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Airbus Group Supports Development Of Innovative Solutions For People With Disabilities

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Airbus Group hosted the first ever ‘Fabrikarium’ event related to disability at the Lycée Airbus in Toulouse from October 19 to 21.

The ‘Fabrikarium’ is an initiative bringing together people from different profiles, to collaboratively develop innovative solutions in the field of disability, that can be easily replicated non-commercially and at a minimal cost. The aim is to allow the largest number of people with disabilities to benefit from the most innovative technologies, thereby significantly improving their quality of life.

Over three days around 100 participants joined the event, offering their expertise and skills to improve nine projects identified from the “My Human Kit” (MHK) association. This independent association is encouraging people with disabilities to overcome their limitations by developing affordable prosthetics and equipment through the combination of digital manufacturing technology and a “do it yourself” principle.

Participants at the event included some 44 Airbus Group employees from all around Europe, together with six students from the Lycée Airbus, prototyping specialists from the MHK association and employees from other companies. Together, they designed and built prototypes using both classical and digital equipment such as 3D printers or laser-cutting technologies and tools.

“We believe diversity is a source of creativity and innovation. By bringing people together at this important event to jointly design and build innovative solutions we are playing our part to help improve the lives of those with disabilities,” said Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus Group and Airbus. “Bringing together people with different skills and profiles also helps to positively change the perception of people with disabilities. I personally consider that, in the working environment, such diversity makes the difference.” he added.

Based on the principle of using technology to alleviate disability, the ‘Fabrikarium’ worked on nine projects:

Print my leg: creation of aesthetics customized leg prosthesis thanks to new technologies and materials (3D printing, titanium…) and homemade systems to personalise a leg.

Open Wheelchair: a wheelchair made with standard parts, replicable for developing countries including an electric version.

Binoreille: An inexpensive hearing aid dedicated to people with total deafness in one ear to avoid a bone implant.

Sonar Glove: A portable radar system for blind or visually impaired people to be made for less than €50. It works by the detection of obstacles by hand vibrations.

Bionicohand: A bionic affordable prosthetic hand that can be self-repaired, controlled  by muscle sensors and with a feedback system to “feel” objects.

Ganesh: An open source prototype platform project enabling people to invent, upgrade or remake their hearing aids.

Shiva: Create a prosthetic hand (paper, 3D printing…) to turn it into a piece of art or a tool including a removable wrist system.

Braille Rap: How to convert any 3D printer into a Braille machine by typing on standards sheets (paper, cardboard…).

From Scratch: Brainstorm around new technical solution for disability, open innovation and social business to create new economic models.

The prototypes developed at the Fabrikarium will be presented on the 18th of November in Toulouse. Journalists are welcome to attend on request.