Smart powerchair accessory hailed one of the best accessibility inventions of 2020
Launching earlier this year in the US, LUCI can be retrofitted to powered wheelchairs to give users and carers helpful updates about both the chair and the user, such as potential tipping scenarios and battery life status.
TIME Magazine assembled its Best Inventions of 2020 list by soliciting nominations from its editors and correspondents globally and through an online application process. It then evaluated each contender on key factors, including originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition and impact.
TIME notes the often-overlooked issue of powerchairs being prone to tipping and collisions, with some mobility devices weighing over 180kg, which can lead to serious injuries like broken bones.
Helping to tackle these issues, the LUCI mobility accessory attaches to powerchairs and uses sensors to monitor the chair’s environment.
As riders steer their chair with a joystick, LUCI collects data that determines safe paths and modifies the chair’s response, like slowing down before an unexpected drop-off or halting to prevent a collision. An associated app, the MyLUCI portal, allows users to track and share data such as their chair’s charging status and location.
The invention is the brainchild of Grammy-nominated songwriter Barry Dean, LUCI’s Founder and CEO, whose 19-year-old daughter Katherine has cerebral palsy and has used a wheelchair her entire life.
To find out more about LUCI, watch the video below: