Wheelchairs are used by people who cannot get around normally, like walking. It can also be used by those who are severely paralyzed. Now in the past we have seen some research done where our brains could be harnessed and used to control a wheelchair, and now it seems that Intel and Brazil-based Hoobox Robotics are turning to the use of AI.
Working together in a partnership, they have developed a system called Wheelie 7. This is a kit that takes advantage of AI where it will allow the user of the wheelchair to control it using nothing more than their facial expressions. Users can define which facial expressions they want to use to control the wheelchair, which is where the use of AI comes in where it will use algorithms to process data in real-time to direct the movement of the wheelchair.
These facial expressions will be caught/registered using Intel’s 3D RealSense Depth Camera which will be mounted on the front. It is also said to be capable of capturing and recognizing facial expressions in both sunlight and dim lighting, so using it at night should not pose a problem.
So far the tech is being tested by more than 60 people in the US. According to Dr. Paulo Pinheiro, co-founder and CEO of HOOBOX Robotics, “The Wheelie 7 is the first product to use facial expressions to control a wheelchair. This requires incredible precision and accuracy, and it would not be possible without Intel technology. We are helping people regain their autonomy.”