09 Mar Cost-Effective Self-Driving Wheelchairs May Soon Be Available In Canada
For individuals living with spinal cord injuries, technological advancements are welcome news. Now comes a breakthrough in which wheelchair users can rejoice. The University of Toronto and Toronto-based company Cyberworks Robotics have found a way, through the use of technology, to drastically reduce the cost of self-driving wheelchairs.
A more affordable technology
Self-driving wheelchairs are by no means a new technology – but they’re still currently quite expensive. One wheelchair can have a price tag over $30,000. That’s a cost that most wheelchair users simply cannot afford. But thanks to new technology, this product may end up costing the user only between $300 to $700.
The company and the university collaborated on this new development for two years now. They sought to repurpose technology – that already found in self-driving cars – and adapt them to wheelchairs. The product would work by using sensors found in self-driving cars and reconstructing them to fit into wheelchairs. The sensor itself is a relatively inexpensive device, which would allow for the drastic cost-cutting.
Improving quality of life for wheelchair users
Making this technology affordable, and thereby accessible, stands to improve the quality of life for many wheelchair users. The sensor would be able to detect objects in its path and avoid them. It would also perform other everyday functions without input from the user – and advantage that would leave the user free to do other things, such as check email.
While this technology is promising, it is not quite finished yet. Developers have yet to perfect it to the point where it is suited for outdoor use. Still, the developers are working on fine-tuning, and hope to make it available to users within a short time.
Gluckstein Lawyers applaud this new development in wheelchair technology. We wish the designers good speed in making the product available to users in the near future.
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