Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New wheelchair technology offers greater freedom and independence

14.12.2006
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.

“With the new navigation system, users can use their head to give commands to the wheelchair. Examples of commands are ‘take the next possible left,’ ‘next possible right,’ ‘follow the wall,’ ‘turn right/left,’ ‘go straight ahead,’ ‘go through the doorway,’ etc.”

Ultimately this new technology can be used to guide the blind and sight impaired as a complement to the cane. Since the technology also creates a map, it can also assist people who suffer from dementia and impaired memory. The technology thus provides the user with both enhanced freedom and reduced dependency on relatives and personal assistants.

Lena Edenbrink | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ltu.se

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>