Top smart wheelchairs: Merging mobility with technology

In an era where technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that it’s revolutionizing mobility for people with disabilities. Smart wheelchairs are at the forefront of this change, offering enhanced independence and quality of life for individuals with cognitive, motor, or sensory impairments.

These innovative devices go beyond the traditional power wheelchair base, integrating advanced computer systems, an array of sensors, and specialized seating solutions. Let’s delve into the cutting-edge smart wheelchairs and prototypes that are shaping the future of mobility.

Advanced Control Mechanisms: The Brain Behind the Wheel

Smart wheelchair control mechanisms are becoming increasingly sophisticated, often mimicking natural movements and interactions:

  • BCI (Brain-Computer Interface) Control: This pioneering technology utilizes electroencephalography (EEG) to translate brain signals into actionable commands, enabling users to steer their wheelchairs with their thoughts.
  • EMG (Electromyography) Control: EMG-controlled wheelchairs harness electrical signals generated by muscle contractions, allowing individuals to control movement through subtle muscle activation.
  • EOG (Electrooculography) Control: EOG signals, which detect eye movements and blinks, are transformed into control commands, offering a hands-free navigation option.
  • Head Orientation Tracking and Chin Control: These methods utilize head and neck movements to control cursor movements on a screen, translating those movements into wheelchair navigation.
  • Eye Tracking and Image Processing: Eye tracking and image processing technologies enable users to control the wheelchair by focusing their gaze or tracking finger movements.
  • Voice Actuation and Touch Screen Control: Voice commands and touch screen interfaces provide intuitive and accessible control options.
  • Deictic Approach and Accelerometer-Based Control: These environmental-based approaches use visual cues or accelerometer data to guide the wheelchair to a designated location.

Beyond the Prototype: Smart Wheelchairs in Action

While research and development continue to push boundaries, several smart wheelchair prototypes are already making a tangible impact:

1. Whill Model Ci2

This personal electric vehicle is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Its compact size and nimble maneuverability make it ideal for navigating tight spaces and urban environments. It also offers a range of customizable controls, including joystick, head array, and sip-and-puff systems. Additionally, the Ci2 can be disassembled for easy transport, making it a versatile option for individuals on the go.

Unique Features: Compact and lightweight design, ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Offers a wide range of customizable controls for different user needs. Easy disassembly for transport.

2. WHILL Model F

Designed with outdoor adventures in mind, this rugged wheelchair boasts all-terrain capabilities, including the ability to traverse gravel, grass, and even snow. Its innovative suspension system ensures a smooth and comfortable ride on uneven surfaces. The Model F also features a powerful motor and a long-lasting battery, making it suitable for extended outdoor excursions.

Unique Features: Rugged and all-terrain capable, designed for outdoor adventures. Powerful motor and long-lasting battery for extended use. Innovative suspension for a smooth ride on uneven surfaces.

3. Scewo BRO

This Swiss-designed wheelchair is not just smart; it’s stylish and functional. It can climb stairs, stand upright, and even traverse uneven terrain. Its unique self-balancing technology allows users to maintain stability even on inclines or declines. The BRO’s intuitive interface and sleek design make it a popular choice for those seeking both functionality and aesthetics.

Unique Features: Stylish and functional design. Self-balancing technology for stability on inclines and declines. Can climb stairs and stand upright, offering greater versatility.

4. Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR)

While not a traditional wheelchair, this innovative robot is designed to assist individuals with mobility limitations in their homes. It can fetch objects, open doors, and even provide companionship through video calls. Equipped with a robotic arm and advanced sensors, the HSR can perform tasks that might otherwise be challenging for those with limited mobility.

Unique Features: Not a traditional wheelchair, but an assistive robot designed for home use. Robotic arm and advanced sensors allow it to perform various tasks for users with limited mobility. Provides companionship through video calls.

5. Phoenix i Chair

This innovative wheelchair combines traditional power wheelchair functionality with advanced robotics. It features a unique “iMode” that allows users to elevate themselves to eye level, enhancing their social interaction and reach. The iMode also enables users to navigate uneven terrain and obstacles with greater ease.

Unique Features: Combines traditional power wheelchair functionality with advanced robotics. “iMode” allows users to elevate themselves to eye level for improved social interaction and reach. Can navigate uneven terrain and obstacles with ease.


This smart wheelchair accessory isn’t a wheelchair itself, but it’s a game-changer for power wheelchair users. LUCI uses a network of sensors and artificial intelligence to prevent collisions, falls, and tip-overs. It can also provide real-time feedback to users and caregivers, enhancing safety and peace of mind.

Unique Features: Smart wheelchair accessory that enhances safety and prevents accidents. Uses sensors and AI to detect and avoid collisions, falls, and tip-overs. Provides real-time feedback to users and caregivers.

The Future of Mobility is Here

Several research institutions and companies are developing self-driving wheelchairs. These prototypes use a combination of sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms to navigate autonomously, freeing users from the need to constantly control their wheelchair. While still in the experimental stage, self-driving wheelchairs hold the promise of even greater independence and accessibility for individuals with mobility limitations.

In 2024, smart wheelchairs are transforming the landscape of assistive technology. By merging cutting-edge control mechanisms with user-friendly interfaces, these devices are empowering individuals with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives. The prototypes of today hint at the possibilities of tomorrow, where mobility will be seamlessly integrated with intelligent technology.

As research and development continue to accelerate, we can anticipate even more sophisticated smart wheelchairs that adapt to individual needs, seamlessly interact with their surroundings, and ultimately redefine what’s possible for people with mobility limitations.