- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A startup co-founded by a Purdue University scientist has won a $200,000 federal grant to boost its work on a motorized wheelchair tray that makes it easier for disabled people to use mobile devices.

Prehensile Technologies’ grant from the National Science Foundation grant will advance its work on the wheelchair tray called the “RoboDesk.”

The company is commercializing the wheelchair tray that uses an arm to deploy or retract a mobile electronic device such as a tablet without hindering the chair’s normal seat functions.

Company co-founder and RoboDesk developer Brad Duerstock is a Purdue associate professor of engineering practice.

He says the grant will allow his company to complete an extensive market analysis and “really grasp what power wheelchair users need and want in our RoboDesk technology.”

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