A wheelchair is a wheeled mobility device in which the user sits, propelled either manually or via various automated systems.
Wheelchairs are used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. The earliest record of the wheelchair in England dates from the 1670s.
A smart wheelchair uses an artificial control system which augments or replaces user control . Its purpose is to reduce or eliminate the task of driving a motorized wheelchair. Smart wheelchairs usually employ sonar, infrared sensors or laser rangefinders to detect obstacles and to ensure that the platform does not collide with them.
There are many types of wheelchairs, and they are often highly customised for the individual user's needs. A mobility scooter is a motorized assist device, but with a steering 'tiller' or bar instead of the joystick found on wheelchairs.
Types of wheelchairs include Beach wheelchairs, Sports wheelchairs, Electric wheelchairs, and Manual wheelchairs.
Adapting buildings and surroundings to make them more accessible to wheelchair users is one of the key campaigns of disability rights movements and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
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