Why We Care
Slips happen in a second but consequences can last a lifetime.
Wearing the proper footwear can reduce your risk of slipping and falling on ice in harsh winter conditions. Falls hurt and often lead to long-term disability that changes the whole course of your life. We want to provide you with the right footwear so you can stay safe, whenever and wherever you go.
The KITE Research Institute is the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute at the University Health Network located in Toronto. KITE is home to WinterLab, which originally opened as part of the IDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology) Centre for Rehabilitation. The KITE Research Institute began the process of retiring the iDAPT name and brand in 2019.
KITE works with a broad range of clinicians, engineers, scientists, researchers, students and more to find practical solutions to common problems. We care about slips, trips and falls and their impact on a person’s mobility and quality of life.
The researchers at KITE had a vision and a belief: we believe that choosing the right footwear can reduce and prevent unintentional slips and falls. And like all great scientists, we researched to understand more about the problem and tackled it to find a solution. The outcome? The world’s only human oriented slip resistant testing method done in a real winter environment – our Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) Test.
At The KITE Research Institute, we have the Challenging Environment Assessment Laboratory (or CEAL for short) which has a set of labs that can recreate real world environments and test challenges that people face in their everyday lives, such as simulating driving in downtown Toronto or the hazards of Canadian winters.
The labs allow researchers to safely and accurately measure the difficulties encountered in the real world and is commonly used to evaluate the impact of new treatments, devices and technologies. What makes CEAL unique is the motion base that has a 6 metre by 6 metre moving floor. This large platform can move up, down, side to side, forwards and backwards. It can even tilt up to an angle of 25 degrees! The interchangeable labs can be attached on top of the motion base to simulate a variety of different environments. We currently have 4 different interchangeable labs (StairLab, StreetLab, DriverLab, and WinterLab) that can be attached, and inside our WinterLab is where we do all our slip resistance testing.
Inside WinterLab, is where all the magic happens. We do all our experiments and testing inside this 5 meter by 5 meter room that is attached to the top of the motion base. It is a whole different world inside the lab – with its floor made entirely of ice, below 0 temperatures, and winds up to 30 km per hour! Scientists can study winter slips and falls and the extremes of cold air and wind, without exposing participants to the risks in real life. At The KITE Research Institute, we can experience winter all year round!
Come visit us for a CHILLY tour inside the WinterLab. Don’t forget to bring a coat!