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MIT research scientist Matt Walter and Ph.D. candidate Sachi Hemachandra have built something that could revolutionize the way people with progressive neurological conditions get from place to place — it's a robotic wheelchair that understands basic voice commands for navigating around a space.
After building a map of its surroundings and being taught the location of each room — where the kitchen is, where the bathrooms are — the wheelchair can understand natural, conversational language that the users feed it through a standard headset and microphone.
This includes direct commands ("Take me to the kitchen.") and more subtle input as well ("I'm hungry."). Even though it already knows the layout of its space, it also has rangefinders at approximately ankle height to ensure it doesn't bump into people or other obstacles.
Karman News has always had an interest in mobility technology, we are avid fans of this type of innovation and look forward to hearing more regarding this robot voice controlled wheelchair. We also wrote about a wheelchair controlled by your tongue, a wheelchair controlled by your ears, and brain controlled wheelchairs as well.[btn link="http://www.businessinsider.com/mit-robotic-wheelchair-2014-4" color="grey" size="size-m" target="_blank"]Read Full Article[/btn]