Most wheelchairs suffer from the common problem that their users are always in a sitting position, so talking with others is slightly awkward – and it’s certainly hard to reach for things.
A team at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan developed a battery-powered, joystick-controlled wheelchair that transitions from a sitting to a standing position with a push of a button. Additionally, the device has a few sensors built in that monitors blood pressure and respirations of its user.
The i-Transport looks and functions similar to the Tek RMD that also features a drive-in design for easy transfer to and from a bed or chair.
From the university press release:
Chen explained that i-Transport uses Altera FPGA, a newly developed intelligent control chip which has the Nios II embedded multi-core processor for developing software and hardware design of the cart’s control systems.
He said, the control system includes the robotic arm, the electric-driven vehicle wheel, and the operator control panel, whereas the control and drive system includes D.C. motors for robotic arms, rim motor drives, operator control panel interface circuit and the FPGA-based intelligent control chip.
“This FPGA chip serves as the core component of the system,” added Chen. The FPGA chip contains the Nios II multi-core processor, circuits for robotic arms and electric-drive vehicle wheels and operator control panel.
In order to set a safety threshold, Chen noted, “a warning mechanism has been designed for a set of physiological signals which can be quantified into physiological parameters in order to compare theoretical values and clinical data within the computer program of the monitoring platform.”
More from National Cheng Kung University: NCKU unveils i-Transport for the disabled
(hat tip: Engadget)