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Voice activated technology for powered wheelchairs

gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
Does anyone know if any powered wheelchairs use voice activated technology . My young son has quad Dystonia of CP. It somehow has only minimal impact on his voice . I am keen to find out what the next generation of voice activated technology involves in terms of help with mobility . Can anyone help ? Many thanks . 


  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 82 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    I work for a charity that designs and loans electric wheelchair call a Bugzi for under 5s. It's something that I think could be done. Will ask the team on Monday. Technically I think it's possible 
  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi there Mark 

    yes we know the QEF as we have a Bugzi ! (Vigo pugh ) I'm thinking about the next generation of powered chairs . Apparently there is voice activated software Dragon
  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 82 Pioneering
    HI There 

    glad you have a bugzi, its been something I have been thinking about myself as I use voice activation at home a lot. also with the new technologies of self driving cars it is something I have thought could be used in a wheelchair. I not sure about dragon as it requires quite a powerful computer to work, mains powered where if we where to use a smaller battery operated computer providing it had internet access we could use AI software to understand what the child or person is saying. I will bring it up at work on Monday when I am in next.  
  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi again Mark 

    seems we are thinking along the same lines .... of self drive car then voice recognition chair in the car . I googled the chair and there are a few prototypes being developed in different parts of the world . If you develop anything or need any input from a 5 year old potential user - just let me know . Do keep me posted on how you get on won't you ! Thanks . Emma 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    @Andy_Assistive or @Ryan_Assistive can you help at all?
    Senior online community officer
  • Andy_AssistiveAndy_Assistive Scope adviser Posts: 45 Courageous
    @Markinsutton Dragon runs fine on a Microsoft Surface Pro (battery life might be a challenge), given the options available with Siri on iPhone and iPad or similar on Android maybe there are solutions that could use those voice interfaces.
  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 82 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    Totally forgot about the surface Pro @Andy_Assistive. My gut feeling is android as I'm able to write apps for that myself but the other engineer is an apple developer so will speak to him. The main issue I can see is interfacing with the wheelchair hardware, have you got any ideas? 
  • Andy_AssistiveAndy_Assistive Scope adviser Posts: 45 Courageous
    @Markinsutton  wheel chairs are not an area of my expertise but a quick search threw this paper up  and I know that eyegaze has been used for chair control so the computer to control interface has a solution although its a US site here's a link 

  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 82 Pioneering
    Hello @gladys spoke to the other engineers about voice activation on a wheelchairs and we think it will be a little while at the moment until the technology will become safe enough to use, plus thinking about how much control it gives the child. Our next project is to make an outdoor version. I am constantly thinking how new tech can be use to enable better mobility for children, if anything comes up I will keep you posted.  
  • gladysgladys Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Heh Markinsutton

    Thanks so much for coming back to me. My son is 5 years old so hopefully once its mainstream we can be proud owner of a v-activated chair. Have you got any solutions up your sleeve for chairs that can go on the sand on the beach (I love the sea, but always struggle to get my son's chair near enough to the sea). Also we are flying in Easter holidays - how effective is the QEF airplane seat thing ? Many thanks, Emma 
  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 82 Pioneering
    Hey there My colleague who deals with TryB4UFly has most of the details but from what I seen it seems to be a really good service. if you do a google search you be able to make contact with him. I have seen some of the options they have. Plus they have not only QEF air chair but others you can try out before you fly, hence the name. As for beach wheelchairs there are a few options out there but it depends on where you go, The UK has a good website that you can hire wheelchairs. I am aware that I don't want to be breaking the community rules by advertising websites. if you do a google search for beach wheelchair hire you will see them. Mark
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