Monday, June 22, 2009

Lurch Robotic Wheelchair

The following clip is of Lurch, a robotic wheelchair created by Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Lab at Politecnico di Milano, Italy.  What is so special about this wheelchair, you ask?  Well, this wheelchair appears to show a developmental prototype to creating a totally autonomous wheelchair that does not require the user to drive the chair.  For those with no ability to operate any type of controls for a wheelchair, this could provide the option of just merely having the user inputting the desired destination and having the wheelchair just drive the user (safely) there, all while avoiding obstacles and negotiating the outside environment.  While this is just a research prototype, this could be the beginning of a new type of wheelchair that could open doors to many more people who could not previously operate a chair.

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