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Thread: New wheelchair technology offers greater freedom and independence

  1. #1

    New wheelchair technology offers greater freedom and independence

    In his research Sven Rönnbäck of Luleå University of Technology in Sweden has developed a new prototype wheelchair that can be either driven manually or remote controlled but can also navigate on its own. It’s an ‘intelligent’ wheelchair that enhances the freedom of users, reducing their dependency on relatives, friends, and personal assistants.

    His dissertation titled "On Methods for Assistive Mobile Robots" presents a new navigation method that finds open and free areas where a vehicle can navigate. These free, open areas are used to create a map that can be used for navigation. The research has resulted in a new type of wheelchair prototype called MICA -Mobile Internet Connected Assistant.

    “MICA is connected to the Internet and can be remote controlled or driven manually, but can also navigate on its own. The new navigation method is used to find possible routes for the wheelchair, past various obstacles, for instance. A distance-metering sensor is used to discover the surfaces that are available to the wheelchair, and the technology can also be used to ensure that the wheelchair is being used in a safe manner,” says Sven Rönnbäck.

    One prospective user group would be severely handicapped individuals who would otherwise find it difficult to steer a wheelchair. Using a computer and a mouse controlled by the head, they can steer the wheelchair through head movements alone, which would obviously open new possibilities for people who have suffered spinal injuries, for example, and substantially lost control of their arms and legs.

    http://www.innovations-report.com/ht...ort-75958.html

  2. #2
    Totally remote controlled? Like can I send it to the repair shop when I dont want to go? :P

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