MIT developing autonomous wheelchair that listens when you speak

Oh MIT, do the wonders that come from your halls ever cease? Yet another remarkable development is emerging from the fabled institution, and this time it's an autonomous wheelchair that can remember important places in a given building (read: the hospital ward, your house, the local arcade, etc.) and then take you there on command. In other words, the voice recognizing chair could understand phrases of direction, such as "head to the kitchen," and it would take on the burden of navigating the halls while letting the rider chill. The researchers are implementing a system that can learn and adapt to the individual user, and in the future, they'd like to add in a collision-avoidance system and mechanical arms to help patients lift and move objects. Say, can regular joes / janes buy these? We're totally feeling this over the Segway.

[Via medGadget]