Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung The Demonstration and Test Dwelling





The Demonstration and Test Dwelling

Rear external view of the lab building
Rear external view of the lab building

The majority of elderly people and people with disabilities wish to live independently at home as long and as much as possible, doing their own housework. In addition to personal assistive technology products, such as mobility aids (e.g. a walking frame or a wheelchair), an apartment equipped with individually adapted devices and installations can meet this desire of living independently (Ambient Assisted Living – AAL).

Usage of the demonstration and test dwelling includes

  • During consultation the demonstration of the technical possibilities and to allow users to experience the technical possibilities for themselves as well as
  • a testing and development area in assistive technology research activities with respect to ambient assisted living

The exhibition and test dwelling is a fully functional flat comprising two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a lavatory. It is equipped with many installations and assistive technology devices which aim to allow for a more independent and safer living at home and to support the care at home by relatives respectively.

Layout of the flat

The demonstration and test dwelling is located on the ground level of the laboratory building of the FTB.

The graphic depicted to the right shows the layout of the ground level floor of the lab building. It shows the rooms of the demonstration dwelling, an office, an additional bathroom which can also be used for demonstration purposes, some storage, and building services rooms.

Layout of the ground level floor of the lab building
Layout of the ground
level floor of the lab building

The building is designed as a frame construction without supporting interior walls. Thus the layout of the dwelling can be altered using lightweight moveable walls (Vario-Wände). Currently the flat’s layout is that of a two room flat with a kitchen and two lavatories.

Adjacent to the flat is a 3 by 3 sqm concrete patch which can be used as a terrace. The test environment includes typical features of today’s entrances to buildings (e.g. locking and door bell systems, an elevator).

The entire flat is designed to be accessible for people with disabilities and in particular for those people who use a wheelchair (Detailed Description of the Assistive Technology Equipment). The furnishing ranges from underridable and vertically adjustable work plates and cupboards in the kitchen over a motorised adjustable hospital bed in the sleeping room to a specifically designed bathroom for people who use a wheelchair.

The main entrances to the building and to the flat as well as two windows are equipped with motorised locking systems. Additionally the entire flat is equipped with Smart Home Technology (Detailed Description of the Smart Home Applications) to allow for all electrical installations to be centrally controlled.

Services / Scope of applications

Furnishement of the demonstration flat
Graphical representation of the
fully furnished demonstration flat

FTB offers the following services with regard to the demonstration and test dwelling:

Testing and evaluation during product development based on scenarios for instance during the following projects:

Proof of usability, proof of functionality, confirmation of therapeutic value, consultancy and demonstration of technical possibilities during projects

Research and development of new assistive technology items and services such as

  • BIT-NRW: Technology web portal
  • Patent: lifting accessory for a lifter for people
  • Assistive living training

Job related training and education

  • Assistive technology seminary, Technical University Dortmund, Reha-Technologie
  • Training on the job for rehabilitation specialists

The FTB’s staff is supported by residents, apprentices and rehabilitation specialists of the Evangelische Stiftung Volmarstein.

FTB Contacts

  • Dr.-Ing. Helmut Heck (Head of FTB’s research & development centre).
  • Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Schmitz (Head of FTB’s information centre)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Janus Nedza (Head of FTB’s test centre)

Last Updated at Wednesday, 20 February 2008