2018 Winner: Indoor Autonomous Navigation System

Project Information
Indoor Autonomous Navigation System
We present the Indoor Autonomous Navigation System (IANS) as a prototype and proof of concept which can be implemented onto a wheelchair. The use of wheelchairs is increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years: a study in England and Wales showed that between 1986 and 1995, there was a 100% increase in the number of wheelchair users. With this increase comes significant personal and social challenges. Those who have used a wheelchair as a method of transportation report frequent tipping or ejection. A Nova Scotian study reported that out of 577 wheelchair users, 57% of them reported having completely tipped over. Currently this risk can be mitigated by medical assistants who provide help in pushing the user's wheelchair. While this can be an effective solution, users report that they feel a loss of personal sovereignty and dehumanization due to their dependence on such medical assistance.

In recent years the technology for autonomous indoor navigation has become feasible, and the time has come to deliver a cost efficient autonomous wheelchair as a safety enhancement, and to empower individuals who have lost the ability to walk. Due to the already high cost of electric wheelchair mechanical components, our system is built with low cost electronics to be incorporated into existing electric wheelchairs, providing an affordable solution. The system is applicable for a variety of environments, instead of predesigned for a specific floor plan as some products are.
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  • Daniel Cornelius Hunter (Crown)
  • Kelvin Chau Silva (Nine)
  • Kevin Antonio Beher (Crown)
  • Kyle Stokes Ebding (Crown)
  • Juan Cristian Huerta (Merrill)