A ROBOTIC MOBILITY AID FOR FRAIL VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Shane MacNamara, Gerard Lacey
Department of Computer Science Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Abstract

This paper discusses the design of a smart mobility aid for frail, visually-impaired people. The device is based on the concept of a walker or rollator - a walking frame with wheels. The device, which is called the PAMAID (Personal Adaptive Mobility Aid) has two modes of operation - manual and assistive. In manual mode the device behaves very much like a normal walker. In assistive mode, the PAMAID assumes control of the steering and will navigate safely inside buildings, giving the user feedback on the immediate environment via a speech interface. The PAMAID was evaluated in a nursing home in Ireland and the results of these tests will be briefly presented.
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Last modified: Thu Jan 21 10:38:39 PST 1999