Technology with attitude

Thought-controlled Aviator Wheelchair Gets Innovation Award

A thought-controlled wheelchair system from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), has been awarded III. place in the Australian Innovation Award Anthill SMART 100 Index.

The Aviator wheelchair uses the patients’ thought patterns to control the chair. The technology behind Aviator which is marketed by UniQuest Pty Ltd has been recognised by the Australian website Anthill, determined by a panel of 100 expert judges looking for novel, innovative ideas that could be commercially successful by meeting the needs of a specific target market.
Professor Hung Nguyen, Dean of the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, led a project team to develop a system that directs and controls wheelchair navigation by reading the users’ head movements and brainwaves. Aviator is working on two prototype wheelchairs, TIM (Thought-controlled Intelligent Machine) and SAM (Semi-Autonomous Machine).
“TIM takes more risks. SAM is a bit more considerate,” explained Professor Nguyen. Professor Nguyen said he was interested in research outcomes that can assist people with illnesses and disabilities to achieve greater independence.

“This research is significant because we now have the opportunity to apply the same technological approach to other disability aids. In future, we may be able to use it help people with a range of tasks in their everyday lives, and adapt it so that it can be applied to different types of disabilities,” said Professor Nguyen.
The project’s initial focus has been on developing hands-free control systems for assistive technologies, such as powered wheelchairs and communication tools for people with disabilities.
“It’s about improving the quality of life for individuals living with severe disabilities by putting these people back into the pilot seat.”
For more about this technology, visit: http://uniquestportal.com/aviator/

The project’s initial focus has been on developing hands-free control systems for assistive technologies, such as powered wheelchairs and communication tools for people with disabilities.

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