|Application||Conveyance, paralysis mobility|
A mind-controlled wheelchair is a mind-machine interfacing device that uses thought (neural impulses) to command the motorised wheelchair's motion. The first such device to reach production was designed by Diwakar Vaish, Head of Robotics and Research at A-SET Training & Research Institutes. The wheelchair is of great importance to patients suffering from locked-in syndrome (LIS), in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except the eyes. Such wheelchairs can also be used in case of muscular dystrophy, a disease that weakens the musculoskeletal system and hampers locomotion (walking or moving).
A mind-controlled wheelchair functions using a brain–computer interface: an electroencephalogram (EEG) worn on the user's forehead detects neural impulses that reach the scalp allowing the micro-controller on board to detect the user's thought process, interpret it, and control the wheelchair's movement.
The A-SET wheelchair comes standard with many different types of sensors, like temperature sensors, sound sensors and an array of distance sensors which detect any unevenness in the surface. The chair automatically avoids stairs and steep inclines. It also has a "safety switch": in case of danger, the user can close his eyes quickly to trigger an emergency stop.