On a Roll: Autonomous Navigation Lasers and Robotics Push "Smart" Wheelchair Technology to the Cutting Edge [Slide Show]

One of the latest attempts to build a commercially viable smart wheelchair is leveraging lessons learned from the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge
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Little Ben, a Toyota Prius fitted with laser and camera sensors, competed in DARPA's 2007 Urban Challenge and was one of six cars (out of a field of 89 vehicles) that autonomously completed the 92-kilometer course, designed to mimic the challenges of city driving.....[ More ]


This 3D LiDAR map image was taken in Bethlehem, Pa., near Lehigh's campus. This and other maps were made while driving LiDAR-equipped Little Ben around prior to testing the prototype chair. The maps were then programmed into the prototype.....[ More ]


The researchers mounted their prototype on a fixture to test the software. They attached metal flywheels on the drive wheel hubs so the motors see the same load that they would see if the wheelchair were driving on the ground.....[ More ]


Lehigh University's prototype smart wheelchair is configured with a Hokuyo Automatic UTM-30LX LiDAR , high resolution encoders and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) -enabled GPS. The chair was able to track its position to an accuracy of about 20 centimeters over a nearly one-kilometer path.....[ More ]

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