Researchers Hope to Build a Better WheelchairBy Templeton, David; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Publication Date: July 9, 2009
Article features a robotic wheelchair in development at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Personal Mobility Manipulation Appliance is a wheelchair equipped with four computers, sensors, and computer driven arms and hands. The robotic arms can perform actions such as opening doors and retrieving food. Controlled by eye motion, voice prompts or a joystick, the wheelchair reduces the need for assistance from caregivers, who can control it over the Internet when help is needed. The Personal Mobility Manipulation Appliance was scheduled to undergo testing about six months from the time the article was published. HERL, which is operated in partnership with the Veterans Administration, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is primarily focused on wheelchair improvements and also creates wheelchair components, including a computerized caster that compiles mileage. Another HERL project mentioned is a study of the biomedical stress wheelchair users experience when transferring their weight from wheelchair to chair, bed, or commode.
Published by: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Website:http://www.post-gazette.com)
Link to text: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/09190/982704-114.stm