Evaluation of the Hephaestus Smart Wheelchair System

Richard Simpson1, Daniel Poirot2, Mary Francis Baxter3
1TRACLabs, Houston, TX; 2WindRiver Systems, Houston, TX; 3Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX


Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire, craftsmen and smiths was the only Olympian with a disability. Hephaestus was injured when his father, Zeus, flung him off Mount Olympus for siding against Zeus in a dispute with Hephaestus' mother, Hera. To compensate for his disability Hephaestus built two robots, one silver and one gold, to transport him. The Hephaestus Smart Wheelchair System is envisioned as a series of components that clinicians and wheelchair manufacturers will be able to attach to standard power wheelchairs to convert them into "Smart Wheelchairs." This paper describes a prototype of the system and presents the results from preliminary user trials involving both able-bodied and disabled subjects.
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Last modified: Thu Jan 21 10:38:39 PST 1999