“Vega and Singer created WheelSense, a modular, customizable add-on system for wheelchairs that provides spatial awareness for visually impaired users to identify obstacles and ease their navigation. It has three features; frontal staircase detection through auditory feedback, backward obstacle-avoidance assistance through auditory feedback, and lateral ramp-edge detection through haptic feedback. They hope to disrupt the expensive market for assistive technologies for the disabled community by making their technology open source.” - MIT news site
I’ve worked with these two and their group for a few months now to create something cool. In a short period of time, we created a working prototype which is now going to be version 2.0. They won an award from MIT.
Check out the Facebook page for more updates: https://www.facebook.com/WheelSense/
I also have more exciting news and soon code, of an open source chair control protocol I will be creating with a friend Specter. This protocol is based on R-Net. For those who are not tech-savy, this new protocol means that people will have ways to upload new software directly on their chairs. (without any new chair hardware and OEM or specialized vendor programmers will no longer be required) As well as the options to customize settings or add features yourself. This is because the code will be public (hence open source). This will currently work on all chairs with R-Net hardware.