Intel develops AI-powered wheelchair controlled by facial movements

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 06 Dec 2018

HOOBOX Robotics collaborated with Intel to develop the Wheelie 7. — AFP Relaxnews

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec 3, Intel revealed the Wheelie 7 kit, technology that allows motorised wheelchairs to be driven with facial expressions.

In collaboration with HOOBOX Robotics, Intel developed the Wheelie 7 kit, a product designed to ease the transportation of quadriplegics, those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and senior citizens by allowing these individuals to control their motorised wheelchairs with nothing but facial expressions.

The tech takes only seven minutes to install, and then users can choose from ten different facial expressions like smiling, furrowing their brows, or wrinkling their nose to direct the wheelchair to move forward, turn, and stop. A 3D Intel RealSense Depth Camera SR300 is mounted on the chair to track these subtle movements in real time, then they are processed by AI algorithms. To ensure that this processing happens as quickly as possible, the system is supported by Intel Core processors and the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO Toolkit.

This technology was developed to help the hundreds of thousands of people who live with spinal cord injuries, the majority of whom indicate physical mobility as having the largest impact on life quality. The Wheelie 7 intends to provide users with regained autonomy, giving them new independence and control over where they go.

According to HOOBOX, the monthly subscription price for the kit is US$300 (RM1,249), and it's currently available for the US and Brazil markets.

– AFP Relaxnews
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