Autonomous Wheelchairs

By: Maddie Flores and Tiffany Saba

What is an autonomous wheelchair?

A self automated wheelchair that personalizes to the user. This new piece of technology has embedded GPS and sensors that allow for the navigation with only the sound of the operator's voice. This will give many new opportunities to people with disabilities that need assistance with common daily life activities.



With the use of Wi-Fi signals, as well as wide-field cameras and laser rangefinders, attached to computer systems that can construct and localize within an internal map of the environment as they move around, researchers have created a very productive and safe vehicle.


After a test run in a parking lot at Lehigh University, the wheelchair was seen to have sensed all 71 poles in the lot. This validates the effective structure of the wheelchair.

Who benefits from this technology?

The amount of disabled, wheelchair bound people in this world are growing (especially the population of age 75+, as seen in the charts below). Anyone that needs assistance in their daily lives will find this product very helpful to maneuver and perform daily tasks of life.
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Percent of people with disabilities in 2012

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Percent of people limited to work because of disabilities


  1. increases the knowledge of autonomous devices
  2. takes a step in the right direction for a comfortable lifestyle for diseased individuals
  3. Permits people with devastating diseases, such as ALS where movement is affected, to have a better option in allowing themselves to live their life


    1. malfunctions of the device can leave people wounded
    2. puts the active lives of some individuals at risk
    3. taking a step towards relying on machines and devices rather than attempting to regain muscle function with rehabilitation methods

        • people will become satisfied living in an autonomous wheelchair

        • some may not try to improve their active lifestyle

      Click the link below to watch a video on how the wheelchair works!!

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      Since the device is still in the making, there is not a final cost decided/released at the moment.

      Perspective on the Research:

      • positive perspective

      • Because of all the data collected, our team corporation strongly supports the autonomous wheelchairs

      Some believe that it will increase sedentary lifestyles;
      However, those who have to live their lives in a wheelchair will be ecstatic and pleased with this increase in technology, as the autonomous wheelchairs allow them to live their lives in an easy, calm, and simple manner.
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