Automated system to help wheelchair users safely load, unload, and secure their wheelchairs onboard autonomous vehicles. This technology is patent pending.
There is a growing demand for accessible vehicles. Current solutions require several operations to be performed by a driver or secondary assistant. ROARS removes the need for additional assistance, by allowing the wheelchair user to perform all the steps on their own, in either a traditional accessible vehicle or in a fully autonomous one.
Robotic Research has created and successfully tested a fully-functional prototype design for an automated system to help wheelchair users safely load, unload, and secure their wheelchairs onboard autonomous vehicles. The ROARS system is comprised of an automatic door opener, a powered wheelchair lift, a powered wheelchair securement system, safety switches, a hardware I/O controller, and an announcement system for verbally providing riders with operating instructions and status information. This system will make it possible for wheelchair users to make use of the autonomous transportation system without needing outside assistance and without impacting the ability of ambulatory users to use the same vehicle. While the ROARS system is designed to be integrated with an autonomous vehicle, the system can also be used as a standalone platform providing accessibility improvements (e.g., time, ease) for non-autonomous transport. Patent Pending: Provisional Patent #62-490382.