Facial gestures can move this AI-motorized wheelchair

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories 

A new wheelchair may give people with severe mobility challenges another reason to smile about artificial intelligence--that grin might literally help them control their wheelchair. Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Hoobox Robotics has teamed up with Intel on the Wheelie 7, a kit that leverages AI to let a disabled person drive a motorized wheelchair through any of 10 facial expressions, from raising an eyebrow to sticking out one's tongue. Motorized wheelchairs these days are typically controlled with a user's hands, a joystick or via sensors attached to the body. The Wheelie learns the user's smile and other gestures automatically--there is no special training that is required. Through an app, a caregiver or family member can assign which facial expressions would be tied to which way the wheelchair moves or stops: left, right, forward, backwards.

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