Innovation is generally the aftereffect of a passion. For brothers Barry and Jered Dean, the conception of LUCI was added than a affection – it was personal.
The brothers were apprenticed and committed to actualize change for bodies active with disabilities. Barry’s babe Katherine uses a ability wheelchair, and the co-founders capital to advance a way to advance Katherine’s wheelchair and acquiesce her added independence.
However, the antecedent agitator occurred aback a ancestors friend, who’s in a agnate blazon of ability wheelchair, had an adventure area they aloof misjudged a curb, angled their armchair and concluded up acutely injured, explains LUCI CTO Jered Dean. “Barry contacted me and said he was afraid about Katherine’s safety. She brand to drive about the adjacency alfresco of the yard,” he says. It anon prompted altercation about how to achieve abiding she is safe and has the ability that she loves.
The aftereffect is LUCI, the aboriginal commercially accessible add-on advised to transform an absolute ability wheelchair into a acute device.
To achieve this goal, LUCI leverages an arrangement of acute technologies – about abacus a brain, sensors and connectivity that listens to the ascribe from the user, looks at the ambience and connects them to the avant-garde world.The technology LUCI adds is a aggregate of stereo-vision alarm accelerated sensors to finer map the world. It additionally has an arm compute bore and a alternation of IoT connectivity modules.
Connecting to the avant-garde world. “We knew Wi Fi was not enough, and not all wheelchair users accept smartphones. And it isn’t appropriate to accept smartphone buying as a prerequisite for the blazon of technology admittance LUCI provides this population,” says Dean. “A absolutely affiliated armchair bare to be affiliated all the time, as abundant as accessible so riders can focus on exploring their world, with confidence, and actuality affiliated aback to their abutment team. Life is a aggregation sport. For instance, Katherine has an aide, ancestors members, therapists and doctors. All these bodies are complex to advice Katherine alive with as abundant ability as possible. That’s what LUCI’s connectivity is absolutely congenital for.”
It uses a cloud-connected Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) band-aid that can be chip into two-thirds of the ability wheelchairs currently on the market. It additionally allows users to accept advice bound if they do accept an accident, by advice the user’s emergency contacts. To do this, LUCI needs to abstract abstracts from the wheelchair and sensors, and again deeply address this abstracts to the cloud. To do all of this while not clarification the wheelchair’s battery, which is additionally acclimated to ability the wheelchair itself, it allegation use as little activity as possible.
The Low Ability Wide Area (LPWA) bore uses Cat-M and NB-IoT cellular networks to abbreviate the activity captivated by LUCI aback it transmits abstracts from the wheelchair to the cloud. The module’s bunched CF3 architecture additionally allows the LUCI architecture aggregation to calmly drift amid altered connectivity technologies, allowance them future-proof their accouterments platform.
LUCI can affix to altered carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Rogers networks in North America — depending on which carrier provides the best advantage in a accurate location. At the aforementioned time, Sierra Wireless’s Global Network Operation Center (GNOC) monitors these networks, preventing blow and allowance the LUCI aggregation bound boldness any connectivity issues.
“It’s absolutely a archetypal addition process, transforming a concrete asset into a acute asset. Aback because wireless technologies, there’s a lot of complication not alone for the implementation, but additionally for the user,” Sierra Wireless Vice President of Artefact and IoT solutions Olivier Pauzet tells IndustryWeek. “Our ambition is to abolish the complication and ensure that the advice technology is not a barrier. And our mission is to accredit that by abutting LUCI to the cloud. That’s why we accept developed a ambit of modules.”
Data aegis is understandably a above application congenital anon into the LUCI platform, explains Dean. “For example, there’s no articular abstracts stored on the LUCI unit. We’ve congenital some added aegis into our arrangement to achieve abiding that we get that advice deeply up to the billow in a HIPAA defended fashion,” he says. “The basement is congenital in a appearance area the user is 100% in allegation of anybody who sees any articular data.”
Security is additionally top of apperception for Sierra Wireless. “There’s a lot of things that we do aural the advice bore to defended abstracts (best-in-class centralized security, defended cossack encryption mechanisms, defended key storage, etc.) alive it is a aperture the alien apple and the cloud,” says Pauzet.
This is aloof the alpha of acute wheelchairs for bodies with disabilities, Dean tells IndustryWeek. “To date best of the abstruse advance for bodies with disabilities has appear from ample customer artefact companies, alfresco of the advantageous technology world,” he says. “It’s time for advantageous technology as a acreage to achieve a bound forward, and we achievement we are the catalyst. We laid the foundation for a ability wheelchair to become the acute affiliated hub for riders, abutting them to and acceptance them to allotment their abstracts as they accept to apropos bloom and wellness.”
LUCILUCI is a medical accessory blame all sorts of new technologies into this advantageous branch that has not been accessible until now. “We’re aggravating advance the boundaries in a absolutely anxious way,” says Dean. “We appetite to advance the borders and lay the foundation for what we anticipate is activity to be a abundant access in the technology accessible for ability wheelchair users. As we progress, we’re activity to accommodate added with things like affiliated bloom devices, and the automatic home.”
LUCI is currently accessible civic through the aforementioned clinics wheelchair riders currently get their chars. The accomplishment put into developing LUCI has not gone unnoticed. It has accustomed abundant accolades including TIME magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020, Popular Science “Best of What’s New” featuring 100 greatest innovations of 2020 and Mobility Management magazine’s Artefact Award.
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