The Amazing Progress Being Made In the Field of Self-Driving, Self-Navigating Wheelchairs

autonomous wheelchair

In June, Researchers at SMART, the collaborative Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology shared their successful trials of a self-driving, self-navigating wheelchair that simply requires a destination to be plotted into the on-board computer. The team, led by Daniela Rus, took inspiration from their line of autonomous scooters and cars in an effort to meet the growing need for patient ease.

his autonomous wheelchair is an extension of the self-driving scooter that launched at MIT last year — and it is a testament to the success of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, or SMART, a collaboration between researchers at MIT and in Singapore. Rus, who is also the principal investigator of the SMART Future Urban Mobility research group, says this newest innovation can help nurses focus more on patient care as they can get relief from logistics work which includes searching for wheelchairs and wheeling patients in the complex hospital network.

In the same vein, Panasonic has also begun testing an app-controlled autonomous wheelchair within Haneda Airport, which meets passengers at the gate and takes them wherever they need to go.

Developed through a collaboration between Panasonic and WHILL Inc., the WHILL NEXT is a mobility robot that enables safe, comfortable transport for Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM), whose use of airports is expected to increase.

via Spectrum IEEE