Wii-powered robot chair is for toddlers, piloted by toddlers

It may not sound like such a good idea at first: a toddler sits on top of a Wii Fit balance board, using it to pilot a wheeled robot. Hell, it comes off as downright dangerous. Believe it or not, this robotic wheelchair isn't just a good idea, it's a magnificent one.

For youngsters who suffer from limited mobility from illness or impairment, a robotic wheelchair like this is the next best thing to running around. Just like a Segway, the direction the tyke leans will send the Pioneer 3 robotic base off in that direction. Crashing isn't an issue, either, thanks to sonar sensors that'll keep the kid away from walls or obstacles.

The Ithaca College researchers behind the robo-chair has already tested it with babies between the ages of seven and nine months of age and found that the kids were ready and willing to zoom around on their own. More than just giving some mobility back, the researchers say that exploring under one's own power is crucial for a child's development.

Even with all that in mind, it just looks like a whole lot of fun. It almost makes us want to hop on this high-speed Segway from the other day. Y'know, almost.

NCPAD, via PopSci

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