Mobility and independence are essential components of a high quality of life. Although they lack the strength to operate manual wheelchairs, most physically disabled older adults with cognitive impairment are also not permitted to use powered wheelchairs due to concerns about their safety. The resulting restriction of mobility often leads to frustration and depression. To address this need, the authors are developing an intelligent powered wheelchair to enable safe navigation and encourage interaction between the driver and his/her environment. The assistive technology described in this article is intended to increase independent mobility, thereby improving the quality of life of older adults with cognitive impairments.
Key words: mobility, artificial intelligence, assistive technology, wheelchairs, cognitive impairment.