Hackathon for SSMI Sponsored by India EU ICT Collaboration Back


Persons with severe speech and motor impairment (SSMI) belong to an isolated part of the disability spectrum. The complexity of their physical conditions renders them unable to have natural interactions with their environments even for activities of daily living (ADL). Advances in robotics and technology have provided opportunities to design systems to enable and support persons with disabilities in everyday activities, communication, education, and fun. This research work proposes an inclusive and safe eye-gaze-controlled human-robot interaction (HRI) system for persons with SSMI.
    The proposed event aims to help in education and rehabilitation process of users with SSMI through teaching them use of cyber physical systems and associated eye gaze controlled human robot interfaces.

The Hackathon

Venue: Indian Instititute of Technology, Madras (IITM) Research Park

Dates: 17th and 18th October, 2022

The hackathon event provided computer, eye gaze trackers software and relevant Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and were encouraged to develop solutions relevant to their interest. During 17th and 18th October 2022, users with SSMI tried to propose use cases - how these CPS and associated eye gaze controlled interfaces can help in their education and rehabilitation.
The hackathon was a first of its kind as all participants themselves were users of assistive technology and at levels 4 and 5 in GMFCS and MACS. Initially, potential participants were screened based on their availability and interest of their teachers and caretakers. All participants went through training with software with eye gaze controlled interface. New use cases involving cyber physical systems are expected to emerge from the hackathon that will directly contribute to the rehabilitation process of users with disabilities. For example, users with severe motor impairment will be able to draw, paint, type using low-cost robotic manipulator and personalized interface. The hackathon was followed by an Indo EU wrokshop on Inclusive Design and Standardization.

Press Releases


EU Impact

The project will directly contribute to as well as collaborate with European Standard EN 301 549 on ICT Accessibility. The PI is member of the expert committee which is adopting EN 301 549 for India’s banking websites. The multilingual and multicultural context of EU is similar to India and the proposed Common User Profile will be useful to personalize systems for the multilingual EU population. The project will closely collaborate with EU partners and EU Cost network.

Previous Research


  • VK Sharma, LRD Murthy, and P Biswas, Comparing two safe distance maintenance algorithms for a gaze controlled HRI involving users with SSMI, ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing 2022
  • VK Sharma, KPS Saluja, V Mollyn and P Biswas, Eye Gaze Controlled Robotic Arm for Persons with Severe Speech and Motor Impairment, ACM International Conference on Eye Tracking Research and Applications (ETRA) 2020
  • N. Blow and P. Biswas, A pointing facilitation system for motor-impaired users combining polynomial smoothing and time weighted gradient target prediction models, Assistive Technology 29(1), ISSN: 1040-0435, Taylors and Francis, 2016
  • Kaklanis N., Biswas P., Mohamad Y., Gonzalez M. F., Peissner M., Langdon P., Tzovaras D. and Jung C., Towards Standardization of User Models for Simulation and Adaptation Purposes, Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS) 15(1)
  • P. Biswas, P. Robinson and P. Langdon, Designing inclusive interfaces through user modelling and simulation, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 28(1), Taylor & Francis, Print ISSN: 1044-7318