Robots Can Build Better Wheelchairs

Student-led robotics competitions could yield the technology to build faster, more agile wheelchairs.

Photo of Michelle Fontenot
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A robotics club or competition which challenged students to navigate a convoluted maze, climb stairs, retrieve hidden items, or outrace the other robots could yield technology that would help to build better wheelchairs. The ability to climb a small step without a ramp, manage a tight turn, or grasp an object dropped on the floor would be a real world benefit for those confined to a wheelchair, yet be quite fun to tinker with in a competitive setting using robots built from scratch. Ideally, the technology could help children in wheelchairs keep up with their friends on the playground.

Currently, I'm thinking through ways to improve and refine my idea, using this Google Doc as a Think Pad. Please feel free to comment and give me feedback! 

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