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Facial Gestures Can Move This AI-Motorized Wheelchair


Facial expressions that can be used to control the Wheelie motorized wheelchair control system.

A new a prototype kit exploits artificial intelligence to enable a disabled person to drive a motorized wheelchair using facial expressions.

Credit: Hoobox Robotics

Hoobox Robotics of Brazil has partnered with Intel on a prototype kit that exploits artificial intelligence (AI) to enable a disabled person to drive a motorized wheelchair using a repertoire of 10 facial expressions.

The Wheelie 7 learns these gestures automatically, and a caregiver can use an app to assign specific facial expressions to wheelchair movement or stopping commands.

Wheelie employs facial-recognition software, sensors, robotics, and an Intel three-dimensional (3D) RealSense Depth Camera mounted on the wheelchair.

The system captures a 3D map of the user's face, and employs AI algorithms to process data in real time and control the wheelchair.

Hoobox's Paulo Pinheiro said the Wheelie 7 can operate in sunlight and dim lighting conditions, and is compatible with 95% of commercially available motorized wheelchairs.

From USA Today
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