Robotic Wheelchair Drives Itself

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Shimizu Japan has developed a robotic wheelchair that does not look very technological or well-designed, but is definitely useful. It is outfitted with sensors that recognize environmental conditions, detect hazards and read information from nearby buildings via IC tags. That means the chair is able to maneuver itself safely to a pre-specified destination. It can also be operated manually, and has wheel drive control and emergency shutdown. This is part of a government-sponsored push for ubiquitous networking in Japan, and this same sort of technology is being tested for use with delivery robots and even shopping and baggage carts.


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