The e-Wheelchair project
For almost a year now we have been following and supporting the e-Wheelchair project by Philip Case. You will certainly remember this amazing project in which Phil, aka â€śThe Captainâ€ť, is developing a mind-controlled wheelchair using Neurosky products, Vuzix smart glasses, Mindwave Mobile and the Mindflex EEG and implementing Cooking Hacks e-Health Sensor Platform for body monitoring (e-Wheelchair project part1 â€“ part2).
The e-Wheelchair has a logo: Phil and his wife have designed a logo and a slogan. It's inspired by the glasses and the mind controlling the wheelchair. The slogan reads: â€śPower on your mind, move to freedom... â€ť. Hopefully it will help to bring the project to light and to stand out now that he's starting to promote it.
Ups & Downs and Go Fund Me campaign
Sarah Bennett, who is helping Phil and writing about him on her blog Tech and Toast, started a Go Fund Me page in order to collect everything necessary for the e-Wheelchair. Phil uses a Panasonic Toughbook because of its rugged design and shock protection but unfortunately somebody stole it while he was undergoing surgery. This Toughbook is essential for him since he only has use of one hand. Another drawback on this courageous journey was that last month Phil fell while getting into the chair. He hurt his back and has to have surgery again.
But it's not all bad news, of course. Last thing we know is that the laptop has been funded by Vuzix, a technology firm that's supporting Phil, and the project keeps moving forward. He is using the Vuzix M100 smart glasses that he won in a competition. These glasses are controlled by voice and gesture and give you the functionality of a smartphone so it's very helpful to enhance the user experience. They also support native Android Apps so the e-Health Sensor Platform application is displayed on the glasses for real time view.
More good news: Phil has now a Prusa i3 printer. A 3D printer is important because he can make himself the housings for the wheelchair and any customized parts he needs instead of having to buy them all.
Another improvement to the wheelchair is the add-on kit. Now the project becomes portable and that way more affordable for people that don't want to buy a new wheelchair or don't have the funds.
The e-Health Sensor Platform Expansion Box
As we said before, the e-Wheelchair includes the e-Health Sensor Shield to monitor vital signs such as Airflow, Galvanic Skin Response or ECG.
Phil has designed and built an Expansion Box for the e-Health Platform. It's in a special built housing, covered in liquid rubber and waterproof. He included a display to visualize the data. The shield is powered by renewable energy through solar panels and a pair of dynamos.
He also incorporated an additional part so that only the user or medical professionals can view it, since data protection is now a priority.
The e-Health Sensor Platform has been extended in lengths so that patients can move from the e-Wheelchair to their bed and still be connected for monitoring Body Position, Airflow (Sleep Apnea), ECG, Body Temperature, SPO2 and Blood Pressure.
The next stage Phil is looking into is to make the Blood Glucose system wireless. He is going to use a CGM device (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) with transmitter and receiver connected to the e-Health Platform in order to display the data on the Expansion Box, the M100 SmartGlasses and sent it to the cloud for either a doctor o carer to have access to. All of this focusing on protecting people's personal and confidential details.
After these intense months Phil keeps working hard and carries on with his project. What started as a small plan is getting bigger and bigger. Now he's looking at exhibiting it as much as possible.
We will be following up Phil's work and keep you posted about the e-Wheelchair progress.