Coimbatore Techies Make Amazing Self-Driven Wheelchair To Help People With Disabilities

Learning the professional dynamics of a field that tackles with some of the world’s biggest problems, engineers often change the world, literally. From cybersecurity to disaster management, they are found working in almost every department of cause or case. In other words, they are superheroes without the cape. Today, this vast stream of study has opened up a wide array of opportunities for students, and besides a gorgeous career, the lucrative aspect of the job is also a major attraction. 

But there’s much more to engineering that we may think. Three final-year B.Tech students of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham college in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu decided to invest their abilities and work for a greater cause. Aiding to make the lives of the disabled more comfortable, they developed a self-driving wheelchair called the ‘Self-E’, a robotic automation system that enables the person to move with the help of auto-navigation. “With a simple touch on the map displayed on the mobile screen, the wheelchair takes them to the destination. They can have complete control over the wheelchair without anyone’s help. On the other hand, if some patients have a problem in using a smartphone, a friend or family member or assistant can use the Android App to transport them without the need to physically push the wheelchair,” said student Chinta Ravi Teja to Gadgetsnow. 

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A laser and a smartphone application, the chair works on the map of surrounding space, reading static and dynamic objects. The person will just have to tap on a spot on the map in and the wheelchair will locate it and move in the same direction.

“The Self-E self-driving wheelchair is unique in the sense that it is the first self-driving wheelchair in India built by research lab of a university without any collaboration with foreign universities or companies. It now needs to be tested in different environments like hospitals and airports with patients and wheelchair users. The current version is a successful prototype and, with the help of Technology Business Incubator of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, we hope to commercialize the product,” said Dr Rajesh Kannan Megalingam, Assistant Professor of Electronics & Communications and Director of Humanitarian Technology Lab at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. 

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The commercial other commercial models by brands available in the market are very expensive as most of the technology used is imported. Self-E chairs are made from reused materials and thus, if all goes well, these chairs would be available in the market for an affordable price of Rs 1 lakh. 

Playing at the forefront of technology, they have managed to not only implement their professional skills but also contributed to social welfare. The scale of the project they have taken up is not only economically astounding but also serves a humanitarian purpose. The many problems faced by the healthcare industry today calls for innovative solutions. And inventions like this will empower the youth taskforce to work for a greater cause along with providing essential services to people around the globe. 

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