Wheelchair - Smart Wheelchairs

Smart Wheelchairs

A smart wheelchair is any motorized platform with a chair designed to assist a user with a physical disability, where an artificial control system augments or replaces user control. Its purpose is to reduce or eliminate the user's task of driving a motorized wheelchair. Usually, a smart wheelchair is controlled by a computer, has a suite of sensors and applies techniques in mobile robotics, but this is not necessary. The interface may consist of a conventional wheelchair joystick, or it may be a "sip-and-puff" device or a touch-sensitive display connected to a computer. This is different from a conventional motorized or electric wheelchair, in which the user exerts manual control over motor speed and direction via a joystick or other switch- or potentiometer-based device, without intervention by the wheelchair's control system.

Smart wheelchairs are designed for a variety of user types. Some platforms are designed for users with cognitive impairments, such as dementia, where these typically apply collision-avoidance techniques to ensure that users do not accidentally select a drive command that results in a collision. Other platforms focus on users living with severe motor disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, or with quadriplegia, and the role of the smart wheelchair is to interpret small muscular activations as high-level commands and execute them. Such platforms typically employ techniques from artificial intelligence, such as path-planning.

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Famous quotes containing the word smart:

    For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tell him he’s a good Cat.
    For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
    —Christopher Smart (1722–1771)