A new, self-driving wheelchair may free up nurses and hospital staff to provide better care for patients. The chair is the first autonomous wheelchair in the world. It was developed by researchers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, also known as SMART. So far, it has been successfully trialed by patients at Changi Hospital in Singapore.
The new wheelchair has an onboard computer which directs it. It can maneuver through tight spaces, like narrow doorways, and it automatically stops when it detects an obstacle ahead. The chair can execute a 360-degree turn. It is on six wheels, which makes it very stable. Researchers say that currently, nurses spend a lot of time pushing wheelchairs: they hope the new technology will give nurses more time to spend with their patients.
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