Young Tunisian engineers invent intelligent wheelchair

An intelligent wheelchair system built by a team of young Tunisian engineers has reached the final of a prestigious prize for European inventors.

Their project, Moovobrain, allows wheelchair users to move through a choice of touchpad, voice command, facial gestures or, most impressively, a headset that detects their brain signals.

Moovobrain It has been shortlisted from over 550 applicants for the final round of the Young Inventors Prize, launched by the European Patent Office in 2021.

This year marks “the first time that a Tunisian and Arab team has reached the final stage” of the international competition, according to the organisation.

The all-female team will compete against two other finalists, from the Netherlands and Ukraine, for the top prize on July 9 in Malta.

The inspiration for the Moovobrain app first came from co-founder Souleima Ben Temime, 28, whose uncle was “forced to use a wheelchair to move” after his upper body was paralyzed.

The four inventors met at the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences in Tunis, where they began developing the Moovobrain prototype in 2017, before creating health-tech start-up Gewinner two years later.

 

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