The wheelchair might have a rather simple design for the most part, but given the advance in technology, it is not surprising to see advancements made to the design to help those who might be more several disabled. We’ve seen how some wheelchairs have the ability to grow legs and climb stairs, and how some of them can be controlled using their tongue, so what about a wheelchair that can be controlled simply by using our thoughts or facial expressions? That’s pretty much what a Silicon Valley startup called Emotiv is hoping to do.
The goal behind Emotiv’s plans is to build a wheelchair for a young Malaysian man by the name of Albert Wong who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which put him in a wheelchair at a very young age. Due to the fact that he is bed-bound most of the time, his muscles are deteriorating and it has come to the point where his hand is too weak to even control the joystick of his wheelchair, which is where this mind controlled wheelchair comes in. Emotiv will be hosting a designathon on the 22nd of February where developers will be tasked to design a wheelchair with even greater functionality than the Insight that will help those like Albert in the future.
Mind controlled wheelchairs aren’t new, but hopefully with this designathon, it will help advance the technology where it will become more widely available and help others, not just those suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, lead a better quality life.