Arrow develops solutions for people with reduced mobility

Arrow Electronics announces the new Data Analytics & Network Innovation Project (DANI Project). The project helps improve the lives of wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility. Arrow presented the project at ChangeNOW, a three-day international summit in Paris (May 19-21) where visionaries and innovators showcase solutions to protect the planet and make life more sustainable.

At the heart of the DANI project is 28-year-old wheelchair tennis player Dani Caverzaschi (pictured), who was born without most of his right leg and with several deformities on his left leg. Dani will compete on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Tour and will compete for the first time in the second Grand Slam event of the year, Roland-Garros, from May 31 to June 4. He was also part of the Spanish national team that finished second in the World Cup for the second time in a row in May in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Developed two solutions

Arrow and Dani are collaborating on two technology solutions to improve the lives of wheelchair users and people with disabilities:

  • ‘WheelWay’ – a navigation system designed for anyone with reduced mobility, which helps to solve mobility-related problems in cities.
  • ‘DataRally’ – collects real-time data from sensors on an athlete’s wheelchair, equipment and body. This allows the athlete to analyze, refine and improve competition performance.

The two initiatives demonstrate new ways of approaching mobility in an integrated manner. They use new technologies that combine advanced hardware and software, cloud architecture and analytics to collect and analyze data. The data is specifically relevant to the needs of people in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility.

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Focused on possibilities

WheelWay focuses on what is possible instead of obstacles, so wheelchair users can plan trips and discover the city around them. The route instructions combine live data from Smart GPS and public open cloud services to provide real-time, wheelchair-friendly route information.

The second initiative, DataRally, is designed for professional wheelchair athletes to improve their performance and gain a competitive edge. Until now, Dani Caverzaschi had to rely on feeling and intuition to analyze his game. Using sensors on his wheelchair, tennis racket and a wearable device on his wrist, Dani and his coach can now collect and analyze real-time data from every match and training with DataRally. And determine exactly which parts of his game he needs to work on.

The technology can be customized to measure speed, acceleration, distance covered, impacts, stroke count, heart rate, serve speed, ball placement on the racket and much more.

‘Make informed decisions’

“These solutions don’t take over, they don’t make me more dependent,” says Caverzaschi, whose goal is to normalize disabilities. “I generate the data, which is then analysed. The information then comes back to me, through the apps, allowing me to make informed decisions. I decide where to go and what to do. I decide how I adapt to the job. It gives me more choice; more freedom and possibilities.”

DANI is an Edge computing project that brings computation and data storage closer to the source of the data – in this case Dani. Each technology is developed by members of Arrow’s Graduate Program; young employees who, like Dani, are digital natives in their twenties.

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