Wheelchair users can find it challenging to control their wheelchairs in narrow areas or when backing up. In particular this can be a problem when backing out of transportation vans onto ramps or lifts. Current wheelchair technology does not provide wheelchair users spacial awareness, which can lead to falls, collisions, and serious injury.
This project uses a set of sensors, a camera, and a display that attach to a wheelchair. The device lets the user see the area behind them while backing up to increase spatial awareness, much like a rear-view backup camera in newer cars. To minimize battery usage and reduce distractions caused by the device, the camera and display are programmed to turn on only when the motion sensors detect an object within a certain distance.
The prototype is in development.