An engineer based in Hong Kong has invented an intelligent, all-terrain wheelchair equipped with much of the same sensor and guidance technology as self-driving cars is providing a stopgap between state of the art wearables and old school wheelchairs.

Ming Liu, Assistant Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, says  the robotic wheelchair is able to navigate in a very complex environment and to automatically move around according to the 3-D information it perceives.

“When the robot moves around, it creates a 3-D representation of the environment, and then the robot will analyze this map so that it knows where the difficult parts are and how to transform itself so it can automatically move from point A to point B,” says Liu.

The robot’s autonomy is meant to assist the human user by making crucial decisions in certain difficult situations.

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