Autonomous Wheelchair with Negative Pressure Isolation Hood (21-COV1-071)
People infected with respiratory infectious diseases carry many highly pathogenic respiratory microorganisms and are moving sources of infection. We are proposing an autonomous wheelchair with negative pressure isolation hood, to transport the covid 19 patients in an indoor environment. This wheelchair can navigate autonomously, to transport COVID patients within hospitals avoiding causing infection to others. The patients can be seated on the wheelchair covered by the negative pressure isolation hood. The operator/caretaker can use the android application associated with the wheelchair to choose the required destination from a safe distance of up to 4 meters without the need to touch the wheelchair. Since the wheelchair navigate autonomously, the operator does not have to control the wheelchair throughout the transportation, and this will be an advantage over teleoperated wheelchair. The operator does not need to have past experience in operating or controlling powered wheelchairs. The negative pressure isolation hood using a Hepa filter will be integrated to this autonomous wheelchair. The negative pressure isolation not only prevents the spread of pathogenic microorganisms, but also permits rapid and flexible isolation transport. The isolation hood must be airtight. The air discharged from ventilation is through standard medical grade filters and must be purified to ensure no harmful pathogens are spreading out. The proposed wheelchair will be tested at AIMS Hospital, which is part of our university, under the supervision of Dr. Sundeep Vijayaraghavan, Professor, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, who is one of the coordinators supervising COVID related efforts and who is the co-applicant. He will be supported by Dr. Ravi Sankaran, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. AIMS Hospital will arrange for a disinfection station to disinfect the wheelchair after every travel.