Indian youth builds voice-controlled wheelchair for his grandfather
Ashutosh, a resident of Bihar and a final year engineering student at Birla Institute of Technology, Patna did something remarkable to help his grandfather move around without help from others. Ashutosh knew his grandfather hates it when someone tries to help him move around, so he created a voice-controlled wheelchair for him. Fan of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, Ashutosh was also impressed by his voice-command wheelchair. No surprise that he designed and built a working model based on Hawkins’s wheelchair.
He conceived the idea of building this wheelchair during his internship at IIT-Patna under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Atul Thakur. It cost him Rs. 20,000 to build the wheechair that is fitted with a voice-processor, microcontrollers to amplify control signals, motor and battery, and microchips. The chair can carry upto 80 kg weight and responds to four basic movements – left, right, forward and reverse.
Chair can sense unevenness on floor and detect obstacles in its way or when it reaches stairs. On detection, it automatically stops to ensure safety of the user.
Ashutosh wants to help other like his grandfather, so he kept the design open-ended to let others improve on it. Profit is not his object at all. If Indian government could understand relevance of this innovation, it would definitely look forward to fund it. However, considering the track record of the government, such talents are mostly wasted in India.
Source: Hindustan Times