LUCI Announces Sandbox Initiative to Share Platform, Developer Tools
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Dec 08, 2022
LUCI, creator of smart technology for power wheelchairs and power wheelchair riders, has announced LUCI Sandbox, an initiative that shares LUCI’s platform with other professionals in the Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) industry.
In a Dec. 1 announcement, LUCI said, “We’ve built an independent platform for an industry — and now, we’re opening that platform to the industry. LUCI Sandbox will allow our partners to accelerate development using the tools that other industries have had for years. Sandbox is a new program that opens up our application programming interface (API) and software development toolkit (SDK) to select industry partners.”
The announcement said LUCI hoped the sharing of technology “will mean faster, further advancement in research and technology by institutions across the industry. With each new update, feature, and partnership, the LUCI platform and LUCI Sandbox will help close gaps in equity and expand the possibilities of power mobility.”
The first LUCI Sandbox collaboration is with Sunrise Medical and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics Lab in Chicago.
Jered Dean, LUCI’s co-founder and CTO, said in the announcement, “We created LUCI to solve real problems that exist for wheelchair users today, and Sandbox is another way for our team to collaborate with leading groups like the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Sunrise Medical, who are committed to doing the same.
“By partnering with these forward-thinking organizations, we will be able to accelerate the development of tools that will ultimately allow for more partners to join the efforts underway to make power mobility safer and more connected to the real world.”
Sunrise Medical, who provided power chairs for the collaboration, released a companion statement that said the project will “enhance research focused on semi-autonomous robotic wheelchair controls.”
The work is being led by Brenna Argail, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Robotics at Northwestern University. Argail is also a Faculty Research Scientist at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
In the announcement from Sunrise Medical, Argail calls the partnership “the best collaboration we have had with the industry.”
“Before LUCI, there was no sensor-based safety system that was commercially available,” the Sunrise statement said. “LUCI’s Smart Technology takes care of all the sensing in the external world. It is stable, reliable, and redundant. This means that multiple sensors are able to sense the same object in the environment in case one fails or is unable to detect a certain type of surface.
“For instance, one sensor might sense glass, whereas another may sense other barriers. LUCI provides sensor streaming about the environment around the wheelchair. They have been developing a sandbox to make this information available to researchers like Argall’s team. The present LUCI system provides subtractive control, which stops and steers the wheelchair when it senses danger. The collaboration between the [AbilityLab], Sunrise, and LUCI is expanding the LUCI system to have active assistance that can do things like plan a path around an obstacle.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.