Wheelchairs have been around for decades, helping people with physical limitations move around. But because technology has been becoming highly advanced nowadays, thought-controlled wheelchairs are being developed. The future of this device is being anticipated by many for its innovation will be something more useful to a lot of people.
With the invention of wheelchairs, a lot of paraplegic, paralyzed patients and other people were able to move around and go to places easier. Wheelchairs have helped millions of people gain more independence.
Over the years, wheelchairs have been improved wherein there are already battery operated, joystick controlled to enable the users to move more conveniently and a lot easier. But as technological advancements become more apparent and available, a thought-controlled wheelchair has been developed.
The brain- or thought-controlled wheelchair is created wherein parts of its system are a battery-operated wheelchair is utilized but with an addition of a laptop computer, an EEG or electro encephalogram headset, an interface circuit, an Arduino (a microcontroller with a single open-source hardware board that is intended mainly to make the application of interactive environment or objects more accessible), and a collection of customized and ready-made software.
The electro encephalogram or EEG headset is wirelessly connected to the laptop computer. This then allows the user to simply think “left”, “right” or “forward”, which causes the wheelchair to move on that direction being thought of. The EEG electrodes are attached to the scalp of the user.
Good performance with this technological device is highly related to good practice by the operator or the user, along with the software properly configured, and good contact with the EEG headset or electrodes. That is why people who will be using this device are advised and encouraged to have proper practice along with an expert before operating or handling the device by themselves.
With this thought-controlled wheelchair, people will gain more independence since they will no longer have someone who will push the wheelchair and tour them around to any place they want to go.
But there is a warning in using this electric wheelchair. People who are allowed to use this are those who are well-trained and have proper practice in maneuvering the device. Those who are capable of operating the wheelchair safely will be allowed to use it in order to avoid accidents and other dangerous circumstances. Though the device is thought- or brain-controlled, the user still needs expert advice and proper training to safely operate the wheelchair.
As devices and other hospital equipment become more advanced, more and more people will be helped in regaining their independence and boosting their self-esteem little by little. With the help of the brain- or thought-controlled wheelchair, paraplegic and paralyzed people will value themselves more as they learn to do things on their own despite their physical limitations.