A lab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is working to make smart wheelchairs. Brenna Argall, an RIC research scientist and Northwestern assistant professor, is leading the research. She says operating a motorized wheelchair can be very difficult for people with severe disabilities. Wheelchairs that could detect objects in the environment and navigate around them with minimal input from users would help remove some of that burden. Argall says the lab wants to build its technology onto existing wheelchairs to keep costs low. She says the technology could be available within the next five years.
WBEZ’s Max Green reports.
This post has been updated to reflect that Brenna Argall's lab is located at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.