Movement can be rather hard for visually impaired patients, but Swedish scientists have developed an electric wheelchair that can “see” for its users.
Team from Luleå University of Technology has developed an electric wheelchair that allows its visually impaired users to “see” while using it. This wheelchair uses a joystick for steering and a haptic robot that acts as a virtual white cane. Thanks to the laser scanner, a simplified 3D map of wheelchair’s surrounding is generated and transferred to the haptic robot, so that user can feel obstacles such as open doors or people.
Many people have good comments of this wheelchair after using it but it still has some flaws that need to be fixed. For example, the laser beam that scans the front of the chair only works on a specific height, so this is a major setback for this chair.
Despite the setbacks, the development team is planning to develop a 3D camera that can do full 3D measurement, and we should see the improved version of this chair in about five years.
[via TG Daily]