If are talking about horse riding you will definitely think about nature, a beautiful landscape where you can bond with your horse. However, technology continues to evolve and it manages to infiltrate and improve every single aspect of our lives.
When it comes to horse riding and technology, you can think of a couple of things. For example, you can use the internet to obtain more information about horses or you can go to a Stable Rating websitein order to find the best barn for you. Nonetheless, technology can be even more efficient in this situation.
Allowing everyone to ride a horse
Horse riding is a pleasant activity, but it was impossible for persons with disabilities to enjoy it. That was until now. New technologies are allowing these persons to ride a horse without the help of anyone else. However, these technologies are very expensive.
Researchers managed to create a new prototype and this one was definitely revolutionary. With its help, Richard Brumby, who is both blind and deaf and has autism spectrum disorder Asperger’s Syndrome, managed to ride a horse without any help.
The project began when Doug Smith, a former Riding for the Disabled volunteer, approached the director of Shadow Robots, Rich Walker. He explained that he wants to find a way to transform horse riding into a more enjoyable activity for Richard. Until that moment, the man was only able to ride the horse while it was led by two volunteers.
This new technology is even better compared to the rest and that is because it does not cost much to produce it. In fact, the team only needed £40 to produce this technology. The people behind it were a PhD student and a team of researchers from Imperial College London with the help of engineers from the Shadow Robot Company and a volunteer from Riding for the Disabled, which is a charity.
The low price definitely means that this technology will change the life of numerous people. The Imperial lead from the Department of Bioengineering, professor Etienne Burdet, explained that reducing the price of this technology is a major step forward.
How does the device work?
This device is basically a small console, not larger than a wallet. This is connected wirelessly to an application on a smartphone. The device must be worn by the rider around the waist and there are two straps wrapped around each arm, and both straps are connected by wires.
A volunteer must watch the whole thing and then directions are sent to the console via the phone. Each command becomes a vibration in the arm of the rider so that the person is able to steer the horse in the right direction. Whenever Richard felt a vibration on the right strap this was a signal that the reins need to be pulled to the right. The same thing worked for the left side, and vibrations on both straps meant that the horse needs to be stopped.