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Research Team Scores Big for AI-Powered Wheelchair
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Research Team Scores Big for AI-Powered Wheelchair

It’s another big achievement in the world of healthcare. The latest breakthrough involved a research team from London’s Imperial College, who was just awarded $50,000 for their eye-controlled, artificially intelligent wheelchair for people with disabilities.

The research prize has been awarded to the research team as part of the Toyota’s Mobility Unlimited Challenge Discovery Award, which is funded by Toyota Mobility Foundation and run by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre. The research prize is expected to help the research team in their AI-powered wheelchair project.

About the new wheelchair technology

The artificially intelligent wheelchair operates by reading the user’s intentions from their eye movements. This means that if the user can move their eyes to look for new direction, they can drive the eye-controlled, artificially intelligent wheelchair.

Dr. Aldo Faisal of the Imperial’s Departments of Computing and Bioengineering is leading the Imperial College’s research team. Faisal claims that the newly developed wheelchair uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and LiDAR technology. By using these technologies, the self-driving AI-powered wheelchair will be able to help people navigate their homes and even the world outside.

How the eye-controlled, AI-powered works

To drive the wheelchair and avoid a collision, the AI-powered wheelchair use existing technologies, such as eye tracking system, artificial intelligence, and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.

The LiDAR technology, an infrared-based sensor commonly used in self-driving vehicles, is used by the wheelchair’s AI system to generate a 360-map of the user’s driving environment. The wheelchairs eye tracking system collects information about the user’s eye movements and then it sends this info to the AI system. After it received the collected data, the AI system will define where the self-driving wheelchair should move to and guides it to avoid a collision.

The new wheelchair is expected to help people with mobility issues and them be more independent at a very low cost.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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