Roby wheelchair (or RBWC, formerly LURCH -Let Unleashed Robots Circulate at Home) is a commercial, electric wheelchair to which we added sensors (laser range finders (LRF), camera, sonars) and computational power to give it the possibility to complement the residual abilities of the driver (shared autonomy) in the movement. RBWC can self-localize by using its sensors in unstructured environments (Mono-SLAM and sensor fusion). The driver can exploit different interfaces: joypad, touch screen, microphone, myographic activity detector (for quadriplegic people), a brain-computer interface for ALS people and people that cannot move any muscle. RBWC ensures to avoid fixed and mobile obstacles, and can take the control and navigate autonomously wen needed, e.g. tobring the used at the place he or she could communicate through the screnn and sensors. RBWC has been tested with success in an occupational and rehabilitation structure. The project to make it a product won three different pizes for the business plan, but no investors have embraced it, yet. Other two robotic wheelchairs are ready to be tested in a Swiss clinic within the EU AAL project ALMA.
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Robots and disability
AIRlab is involved in projects concerning robots and disability. We have developed RBWC, a shared autonomy wheelchair, which can self-localize by using markers or artificial vision in unstructured environments. RBWC can be driven by different interfaces, from a touch screen to myographic interfaces, to brain-computer interface. Other two robotic wheelchairs are ready for test within the EU project ALMA. We have also developed Teo, a robot designed to interact with children with different diabilities, which can be used also with a multimedial system, and which has been developed within the project KROG, funded by Politecnico di Milano within the Polisocial) program, in collaboration with HOC Lab and Phy.Co. Lab. We also developed an affective computing interface for rehabilitation robots used in post-stroke movement rehabilitation, in a project funded by IIT, that led to the establishment of the company Empatica. Contact Person: Andrea Bonarini
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