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CALL helps the University of Edinburgh celebrate 40 years of commercialisation

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 4th December, 2009 at 4:13pm

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Prince Philip talking to Paul Nisbet next to the Smart Wheelchair.

The University of Edinburgh celebrated 40 years of commercialisation with an exhibition and reception in the Playfair library on November 16th 2009. The Smart Wheelchair was Mr (or should that be Miss?) 1987 - the year when we started work on the first protoype. The event was attended by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who had a narrow escape from being run over while watching the Smart Wheelchair following the track around the stand. The Duke remarked that a big problem with wheelchairs is the low height of the seat, which he said is a bit of an issue at cocktail parties: I'm not sure there's much of a market for a cocktail-shaking Smart Wheelchair with powered elevating seat but who knows, I'll add it to the wish list....

The DVD and booklet produced to mark the occasion feature the Smart Wheelchair and also CALLTalk, the communication vocabulary developed by Sally Millar and Janet Larcher. Thanks to Derek Waddell, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Edinburgh Research and Innovation Limited (ERI), for inviting us to the event. A video report is available and CALL's work was also featured in the latest edition of Infinite, ERI's annual review.

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