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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Disability driving expo

INNOVATIVE: The CPUT project team led by Professors Mugendi M’Rithaa (Department of Design) and Oscar Philander (Adaptronics/Engineering) which is busy building a car adapted for people with disabilities.

CPUT is using innovation to accomplish disability inclusivity with its Informatics and Design as well as Engineering faculties collaborating to build a car adapted for people with disabilities.

This pioneering project is headed by Professors Mugendi M’Rithaa (Department of Design) and Oscar Philander (Adaptronics/Engineering).

The project is linked to Nicky’s Drive, a registered non-profit organisation founded in 2011 by Nicky Abdinor. The organisation aims to fund car adaptations for people with disabilities within South Africa.

CPUT is working with Nicky to further develop the sophisticated technology she uses to drive.Her physical limitations only allow her to drive using a joystick hydraulic steering system with her right shoulder.

Unfortunately, the technology for such a steering system is not available in South Africa and her vehicle was adapted in the United Kingdom. “I initiated a fundraising project to plan for the future – I knew that one day I would need to have a replacement vehicle adapted in the UK,” she says.

Nicky's new car project will be on show during the CPUT Disability Driving Expo which will take place on 7 March 2013.

The CPUT Disability Unit recently held a meeting where the project’s team briefed guests from the disability industry and other partners about the progress it has made on the car.

The team, which includes some BTech students from the two departments, told the guests that a great deal of work has gone into the project and assured Nicky that her car will be ready in February.

Prof M’Rithaa says the project bodes well with CPUT’s strategic objectives of enhancing social good, producing innovative products that have a potential Intellectual Property and that the project will be shared with the whole world in 2014 when Cape Town hosts the World Design Capital.

Kwanele Butana.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za