Local TV news interview Professor Liz and Yu Chen

Professor Liz and the lead HDCL graduate student Yu Chen for PURE project introduced their hand-free ballbot wheelchair project during a local TV interview by WCIA.

Professor Elizabeth Hisao-Wecksler has developed the “pure ballbot”, a hands-free wheelchair that provides users with increased mobility and freedom. The ballbot is slim, lightweight, and allows users to steer, spin, and slide in any direction. Professor Hisao-Wecksler was inspired to create the ballbot after seeing the robot BB8 in the Star Wars franchise, which operates on a ball. The project has been in development for five years and received $1.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation in 2020. The end goal is to give manual wheelchair users the ability to perform daily tasks such as holding objects and carrying groceries without having to use their hands to propel the chair.

See the news at WCIA.com here and MechSE news article here.