LUCI, a hardware and software platform that uses stereo vision, infrared, ultrasonic, and radar to enable power wheelchairs to “see” their environment, was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s best inventions of 2020, as well as one of the greatest innovations of 2020 in the Popular Science Best of What’s New 2020 list.

LUCI features Sierra Wireless’ Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) solution, including HL7800 modules and Enhanced Carrier Connectivity services, to make power wheelchairs smarter and safer, helping wheelchair users avoid collisions, drop-offs, and falls, and giving them more freedom and independence.

Cloud-Connected IoMT Solution

LUCI, a power wheelchair accessory with sensors that can monitor a wheelchair’s environment, and alert users and others of dangers to the user, uses a cloud-connected IoMT solution. It also allows users to receive help quickly if they do have an accident, by notifying the user’s emergency contacts. To do this, LUCI needs to extract data from the wheelchair and LUCI’s own sensors, and then securely transmit this data to the cloud. To do all this while not draining the wheelchair’s battery, which is also used to power the wheelchair itself, it must use as little energy as possible, a media release from Sierra Wireless explains.

Sierra Wireless’ HL7800 module is used in conjunction with its Enhanced Carrier Connectivity service to help meet those needs. The multi-mode LPWA module uses Cat-M and NB-IoT cellular networks to minimize the energy consumed by LUCI when it transmits data from the wheelchair to the cloud. The module’s compact CF3 design also allows the LUCI design team to easily migrate between different connectivity technologies, helping them future-proof their hardware platform.

In addition, Sierra Wireless’ Enhanced Connectivity Services provides LUCI users with broad national wireless coverage. With these services, LUCI can connect to different carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Rogers networks in North America — depending on which carrier provides the best coverage in a particular location. At the same time, Sierra Wireless’ Global Network Operation Center monitors these networks, preventing downtime and helping the LUCI team quickly resolve any connectivity issues, per the release.

[Source(s): Sierra Wireless, Business Wire]

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