With many elderly and disabled people relying on others to assist them, any assistive technology that can increase their independence and improve quality of life is appreciated. We are working on an intelligent wheelchair which can move about in its environment autonomously, including going through narrow hallways or doors. Eventually the wheelchair will "know" its environment and the user can ask to be taken to a particular location.

While the number of older people who are bedridden and require constant nursing care is increasing, funding to our health care system is being reduced. A robot which could turn a patient in their bed would ease the burden on the staff, freeing their time for other needs of the patient, and could also mean that the patient is turned more often, increasing their comfort and reducing the chance for bedsores and related problems.

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