Singapore pilots autonomous wheelchairs

People living longer, and having fewer kids, means that there’s an issue around being able to hire enough people to perform essential jobs. Not to mention, of course, that the tax base will inevitably shrink, reducing the money that’s available to pay them to do those jobs. That’s why these nations are casting an eye towards robotics, with Japan leading the way in automated care for the elderly. Of course, if you’ve seen Robot and Frank, you’ll know that using robots to help older people can only end one way: with a jewelry heist.
Daniel Cooper, engadget
Toyota ireal concept. Top Gear
Toyota i-real concept. Car and Driver

Charlene Chin, Gov Insider 30 September 2016

Singapore plans to pilot autonomous wheelchairs, Mark Lim, Director of Government Digital Services said at Innovation Labs World.

“What if we could make the wheelchair move on [its] own?” Lim said. “There is a proper use case for it, because today we have limited health care workers,” he added. “These nurses are more precious in doing their work – in taking care of the patients – than pushing them around in the wheelchair,” he said.

The team is also working on a “smart walking stick,” he said, which has the “ability to track elderly who are very mobile, but [need] some support,” Lim said. It will use GPS tracking to detect falls and trigger alerts.

Student entrepreneurs develop smart device for the visually impaired. Cisco Blogs

Student entrepreneurs develop smart device for the visually impaired. Cisco Blogs

On the digital side, government is prioritising an API gateway to enable data sharing. “What we wanted to do was to really create this thing called the government API economy,” he said. The gateway would allow us to exchange data between different government agencies. It also allows us to exchange data with private entities and also individuals,” he said.

Porsche design P'gasus wheechair. Yanko Design

Porsche design P’gasus wheechair. Yanko Design

“The movement behind this was not building everything ourselves but allowing creative businesses to leverage on this to build a better business model,” he noted.

Lim highlighted the potentials of this platform: “A creative startup or even an individual developer could now make use of this. At the same time, maybe talk to the bank and integrate the bank API, and talk to real estate agents to integrate their API, and provide a seamless experience on their app”.

Citizens will get “a single, integrated experience because we provide different APIs for the different services to be consumed” – or what Lim calls “microservices”.

“We are moving towards a very strong, modern approach to microservices, versus full deployment of huge government websites and huge government applications,” he said.

Innovation Labs World is a festival of public service innovation organised by GovInsider. It was held on 27 September in Singapore.

Source Gov Insider

Also see
Mobility Technology: Thinking Globally in New Mobiity
Singapore wants a self-driving wheelchair by 2017 in engadget
Fujitsu makes ‘smart walking stick’ to help elderly in BBC News
How can rapidly aging East Asia sustain its economic dynamism? in The World Bank
Asia-Pacific Report: East Asia aging far faster than previously thought in The Vancouver Sun
East Asia Pacific ageing faster than anywhere else in history: World Bank in Terra Daily
What is the future of wheelchairs? in Quora
The SteamRoller Riding Contraption in Instrucatables
The futuristic i-real wheelchair: does it have a future? in Blackwood
Wheelchair design in designboom
A smart stick puts the Internet of Everything in service to the blind in Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility

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