Researchers Bring Robotics into Wheelchair Field

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Researchers Bring Robotics into Wheelchair Field

A new concept now in testing could make assisted navigation more seamless than ever: the autonomous wheelchair. CSAIL member Nick Roy, Assistant Professor in Aero/Astro, along with CSAIL Professor Seth Teller and Bryan Reimer from MIT's AgeLab, has expanded his work with autonomous passenger vehicles to include one for individual use on a daily and more personal scale.

The device, which is voice-driven, functions on a system that is much like GPS – except that it works indoors. Working from a system of wireless nodes, it does not need a floor plan in advance in order to traverse a building. Instead, it can glean the information it needs by being taken on an initial tour, at which point it will "learn" the names and coordinates of specific location. The wheelchairs are being tested at the Boston Home, in Dorchester. To read more about the project, click here