A technological innovation that will revolutionize wheelchair mobility

Submitted on 19/06/2020
Image reprise du site projet ADAPT
Image reprise du site projet ADAPT

As part of the European ADAPT project, Marie Babel (associate professor INSA in Rainbow research team) is working on the development of a device to assist in driving an electric wheelchair.

Today, not all people with disabilities have access to electric wheelchairs. At the risk of jeopardizing people's safety, the visual impairment, for example, does not allow this type of chair to be driven. And yet the wheelchair is synonymous with independence and autonomy.

So Marie and the partners of this French-English project have imagined an electric wheelchair capable of avoiding obstacles. Equipped with sensors, the wheelchair creates a kind of protective zone around it, allowing it to correct or adapt its trajectory.

And to go further, the team has designed a simulator of this wheelchair to promote the learning of this driving assistance. Placed on a system of robotic jacks that reproduce the movement and with the help of a virtual helmet, the driver will learn how to drive this intelligent chair.

This virtual environment has been completely modeled to reproduce a room but also neighborhoods of Rennes, thanks to data provided by the City of Rennes. By putting all the senses into action (sight, body movements, hearing ...) the objective is to immerse the learner as much as possible in order to promote learning on the one hand and protection on the other.

This simulator is currently undergoing technical trials at the Pôle Saint Hélier.
To be continued ...

Seen/read in the press in 2020 on this project (in french only):
Reportage France 5 « Le Magazine de la Santé »
Ouest France (14 février) - « VIDÉO. Handicap : Ce fauteuil électrique intelligent va révolutionner la mobilité »
Ouest France (16 février) – « VIDÉO. Unique au monde, le premier simulateur de fauteuil roulant électrique est à Rennes »

See the whole of our press review