Research undertaken using PAMELA (Pedestrian Accessibility & Movement Environment Laboratory) is expected to have a positive impact on the lives of all users – which is particularly significant in view of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in April 2005.
The laboratory makes it possible, for the first time, to observe and understand how all the different factors at work in pedestrian environments can cause difficulties for people using them. By providing detailed insights into how pedestrians are affected by uneven surfaces and visual distractions, for instance, PAMELA will generate data that leads to improvements in the design of pavements, footways and concourses, and will enable new ideas and products to be tried out.
Nick Tyler, Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering at University College London, has led the development of PAMELA, supported by funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He will outline the laboratory’s capabilities at the BA Festival on 8th September.
PAMELA consists of three key elements, which enable different, realistic combinations of conditions and their impact on people to be studied in a closely controlled scientific environment:•An 80m2 computer-controlled platform which can be altered to mimic the characteristics of different pedestrian environments, such as surface material, colour and texture, gradients, steps and obstacles.
As well as studying how accessible and user-friendly a pedestrian environment is for people with different capabilities, the laboratory can be used to pinpoint exactly how and why an environment may become difficult or confusing, e.g. a railway station subject to noises from different sources, strange lighting effects caused by shadows and arches, moving people and machines, changing floor surfaces and levels etc. Research of this kind could inform design decisions on issues such as surface types/colours/smoothness, slopes and lighting.
Similarly, the laboratory can be used to study changes in pedestrian capacity resulting from changes in the physical dimensions of pedestrian environments, or the need to step up, across or down from a bus or train to a platform, for example. This will help in the design of pedestrian spaces and transport interchanges.
“There’s enormous scope to improve the design of pedestrian environments so that people can move around them more efficiently, while minimising the risk of trips, falls and similar accidents,” says Professor Tyler. “PAMELA is the first laboratory of its kind and we’re keen to see organisations from all over the world make use of its pioneering facilities.
Natasha Richardson | alfa
Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences