RAID - Robot for Assisting the Integration of the Disabled - is a system for allowing a handicapped person to operate independently of a human carer for periods up to 4 hours in the office and home environment. It is designed for those with full mental faculties but severe physical disabilities, whether traumatic or congenital in origin, and allows them to handle papers, books, disks and CD ROM's, files, refreshments etc. Originally conceived as a natural extension of many year's work on the MASTER project at CEA-STR, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, the development of the first three prototypes was undertaken by a European consortium with 50% support from the EC's TIDE programme.
The development programme led to a two-year period of clinical trials with some hundreds of quadriplegic users, funded and conducted by APPROCHE (Association pour la Promotion des Plates-formes RObotisée en faveur des personnes HandicappéEs), an independent syndicate in France comprising doctors, therapists, disability centres, insurance companies and Government agencies responsible for handicapped persons.
Five complete workstations were ordered by APPROCHE (with another for the CEA) for this evaluation. These were constructed by OxIM, who had acquired sole exploitation rights from the consortium. In clinical trials RAID proved to be a versatile product, popular with its disabled users, but requiring additional design work to eliminate problems of inadequate reliability, to reduce its physical size, and improve visibility.
OxIM has attempted to secure risk capital to complete the design and proceed to a production launch, but so far has failed to secure investment for this project nor has it identified an appropriate Venture Partner with the appropriate marketing capabilities.