Friday, September 17, 2010

A Chair That Can Follow People

Researchers at Saitama University's Human-Robot Interaction Center have developed a wheelchair equipped with a camera and a laser sensor that locks onto a nearby human companion and follows them around. It can even anticipate the direction the person is going to go by using a distance sensor to check which way their shoulders are facing. There is no news as to when a commercial version will be available, but the wheelchair is already being field-tested in care centers, where the researchers say it could be particularly useful if the facilities are short-staffed.

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