GeckoSystems Successfully Applies Its Mobile Robot Solutions to Improve Wheelchair Safety
CONYERS, Ga., Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — GeckoSystems International Corporation (Pink Sheets: GOSY | http://www.geckosystems.com/) announced today that they have successfully completed Alpha testing of their new “collision proof” upgrade power wheelchairs. GeckoSystems is a leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry, dedicated to providing Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service(TM).
“We are very pleased to have completed initial tests of our new ‘collision proof’ wheelchair prototype. We now have videos on our website that clearly demonstrate the enhanced safety features of a power wheelchair upgraded with GeckoSystems technology. You will see that the upgrade prevents dangerous collisions with both stationary and moving obstacles regardless of joystick position,” remarked R. Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems. Videos are available at http://www.geckosystems.com/markets/wheelchair.php.
There are approximately 2.2 million people in the United States alone that use a wheelchair for everyday activities. Of that 2.2 million 40% find it almost impossible to steer using controls now on the market. Industry sources estimate that the total world wheelchair market is approximately 3.5 million chairs per year. The personal mobility market in the U.S. is $1.2 billion annually.
Recent market research conducted by GeckoSystems has revealed that in addition to users who rely on power wheelchairs for daily mobility, there is a demand for the collision proof wheelchair in the professional market.
Often, elderly residents of assisted care facilities and nursing homes will begin to have difficulty controlling a power wheelchair as their condition deteriorates. Together, a typical power wheelchair and its occupant weigh approximately 250-350 pounds. An out of control wheelchair can easily damage walls, furniture, or even endanger other patients or staff. The worst-case scenario is a poorly controlled wheelchair that results in traumatic physical damage to the resident or another person in the facility.
When this situation arises, management must address this harsh reality quickly. Elderly residents are often required to suddenly relocate from a familiar care facility to a new facility capable of providing a higher level of care. The family is forced to deal with the emotional issues of the move (further loss of independence, dignity for their parents, spouse, etc.) and in addition there is often a dramatic increase in the monthly cost of providing care for their loved one.
Installation of a “collision proof” upgrade before the damage is done would forestall forced relocation and the trauma and expense that go with it. The upgrade would pay for itself in two to three months. GeckoSystems believes this is a significant market critically in need of a solution.
The software used to dramatically improve wheelchair safety is adapted from the suite of hardware and software solutions GeckoSystems has developed for their elder care and personal assistance robot, the CareBot(TM). (Now that Alpha testing is completed, the CareBot is expected to go into Beta testing in 2012.) An overview of these technologies is available at http://www.geckosystems.com/technologies/.
Due to their success in retrofitting the initial prototype collision proof wheelchair, GeckoSystems recently received a second wheelchair from Imasen, the oldest wheelchair manufacturer in Japan. This second wheelchair will be used for additional R&D and eventual return to Japan for first hand evaluation. (http://www.geckosystems.com/investors/press_releases/20110317_GeckoSystems_SellsMobileRobotSolutions.php )
“The release of the Microsoft Kinect(TM) depth camera and its cost advantage over traditional machine vision solutions has helped the company further reduce the projected cost of the upgrade kit. This will make improved safety more affordable for thousands who presently rely on a wheelchair for personal mobility,” reflected Spencer.
GeckoSteer(TM) is a new software and computer interface that was developed specifically for this application. It lies between the mechanical joystick and GeckoNav(TM), advanced automatic self-navigation software. GeckoSteer was needed to compensate for spasticity, tremor, and other involuntary movements associated with debilitating diseases that affect many wheelchair users.
It should be noted that GeckoSystems now has “proof of concept” for its proprietary suite of Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service(TM) which may be migrated to mobile platforms (as in the wheelchair) that were not originally designed to be under AI software navigation control. Using GeckoSystems’ technology, the company expects many other market opportunities to open up for them in both the domestic and international marketplaces. The sale of collision proof safety upgrades for wheelchairs represents “low hanging fruit” that is ideal for GeckoSystems’ entry into the retail market because of the large numbers of power wheelchairs in use and the need for safety upgrades that is expected to lead to rapid adoption in the market.
“Now that we have a successful prototype of our ‘collision proof’ wheelchair upgrade kit, we will progress to visual design improvement and further cost reduction. We expect that technology-licensing revenues will precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales. We believe that our over 1300 stockholders will receive this news as confirmation of their wisdom in investing in GeckoSystems and be encouraged in their expectation of a satisfying return on their investment,” concluded Spencer.
About Microsoft: Kinect and Xbox 360 are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
For more information: http://www.Microsoft.com
About GeckoSystems: GeckoSystems been developing innovative robotic technology for over fourteen years. It is CEO Martin Spencer’s dream to make people’s lives better through robotic technology.
GeckoSystems, Star Wars(TM) Technology
Although the company’s primary focus has been an elder care robot, the CareBot(TM) AI (artificial intelligence) software technology developed for this project is being marketed internationally. The company believes many devices in use today can be improved through the use of its AI navigation software system. The company expects their “collision proof” wheelchair and an upgrade for existing wheelchairs will be the first product of this sort to be marketed.
The company has successfully completed an Alpha trial of its CareBot personal assistance robot for the elderly. It was tested in a home care setting and received enthusiastic support from both caregivers and care receivers. The company believes that the CareBot will increase the safety and well-being of its elderly charges while decreasing stress on the caregiver and the family.
Gecko Systems is preparing for Beta testing of the CareBot prior to full-scale production and marketing. CareBot has recently incorporated Microsoft Kinect motion sensors that will result in a significant cost reduction.
Kinect Enabled Personal Robot video:
Above, the CareBot demonstrates static and dynamic obstacle avoidance as it backs in and out of a narrow and cluttered alley. There is no joystick control or programmed path; movements are smoother that those achieved using a joystick control. AI creates three low levels of obstacle avoidance: reactive, proactive, and contemplative. Subsumptive AI behavior enables the CareBot to reach its target destination after engaging in obstacle avoidance.
One CareBot(TM), One Family
GeckoSystems stock is quoted in the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) markets, on the Pink OTC Current Information tier, under the ticker symbol GOSY.
Main number: 1-866-CAREBOT (227-3268)
International: +1 678-413-9236
Fax: +1 678-413-9247
Statements regarding financial matters in this press release other than historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such statements about the Company’s future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, technology efficacy and all other forward-looking statements be subject to the Safe Harbors created thereby. The Company is a development stage firm that continues to be dependent upon outside capital to sustain its existence. Since these statements (future operational results and sales) involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company’s actual results may differ materially from expected results.
SOURCE GeckoSystems International Corporation