Indoors often the same routes are driven. Pedestrians walk autonomously to the kitchen while holding the newspaper, while wheelchair drivers always need to control their device with one hand. The goal of this thesis is to create a digital map and automate driving short distances by applying the latest research about simultaneous mapping and localization.
Wheelchair drivers are confronted with unique challenges in their daily life, due to their limited mobility. In older buildings and in cities with insufficient infrastructures stairs are one of the biggest obstacles they might encounter. Therefore the goal in the Focus Project called Scewo developed an electrically powered wheelchair that will climb stairs and curbs without external help. The wheelchair balances and drives on flat ground using two wheels but can also climb stairs using two tilting tracks that lower when needed. Additionally, there are two retractable wheels located at the back of the chair that act as a support system. These wheels help with the transition at the top of the stairs and allow the chair to be parked at a spot. The project was supervised by the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) at ETH Zurich. When showing our prototype to the public the feedback towards the device was so positive and a part of the team decided to found a company to bring the product to the market. Scewo is now an ETH-Spinoff since 1.5 years we are close to delivering our first units to the customer.
- Research different SLAM methods
- Research the needed cameras and processors
- Implement a basic mapping and localization algorithm
- Test the algorithm with the Scewo wheelchair