LUCI image
Credit: LUCI

LUCI, an innovative mobility device that enables powerchairs to analyse and safely navigate environments, as well as provide advanced levels of connectivity and protection, has been named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020 under the Accessibility category.

The smart device, which launched earlier this year in the US, can be retrofitted to powered wheelchairs to help users avoid collisions and dangerous drop-offs while maintaining personalised driving control.

According to TIME Magazine, it assembled its 2020 best inventions 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.

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Helping overcome this issue, the LUCI mobility accessory attaches to powered wheelchairs 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:

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