LUCI case study

| Customer story, Medical
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Moving wheelchair innovation forward with secure OTA software updates



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Healthcare | United States & Canada


LUCI is the first-ever smart power wheelchair platform designed to reimagine mobility. With LUCI’s smart technology, riders gain independence and real-world technology inclusion. LUCI is an accessory for power wheelchairs designed to give riders a better, safer, and smarter experience. It is an attachable hardware/software product – the first of its kind – which uses cloud and sensor-fusion technologies for collision avoidance, drop-off and tip protection, and more. Offering new opportunities for innovation, research, and solutions, LUCI is human-engineered. LUCI values the subtle but precious focus that keeps the person at the center of its technology. Autonomy is not their goal – independence is.


prevented potential injuries

per user per day


effective collision avoidance and

drop-off protection


LUCI’s mission is to provide stability, security, and connectivity for power wheelchair riders — requiring secure and robust software infrastructure to move innovation forward.

Four keys to drive wheelchair innovation

Group 8455 (2) Ensure user safety by seamlessly deploying new features and updates
Group 8454 Deploy real-time product alerts to users and caregivers
Group 8456 (1) Accelerate agility and innovation by developing new software based on user feedback
Group 8457 (1) Maintain security and regulatory compliance as a medical device


The Challenge

Accelerate mobility through continuous innovation

LUCI offers an intelligent accessory for power wheelchairs to keep users safe. A smart frame that mounts to power wheelchairs with an embedded computer, LUCI enhances mobility safety by incorporating stereo vision cameras and radar and ultrasonic sensors.

Intel RealSense stereo vision cameras detect ground obstacles in the front and back of the wheelchair. Ultrasonic sensors and radars on each side of the chair and footplate assist with collision avoidance. Data is sent to an i.MX 8M processor, allowing LUCI to automatically intervene – slowing down or stopping the wheelchair  – and prevent accidents or injuries. LUCI also includes caregiver alerts, such as when the battery is low, or the chair has tipped over.

LUCI is an internet-connected product. As such, the ability to push new security patches to the product was critical for the LUCI team, as well as finding and addressing bug fixes. LUCI required the ability to update its products continuously. The processing algorithms needed to be finetuned to improve the product’s detection capabilities and eliminate false positives. User sensor feedback provided the LUCI engineering team with additional information on user needs. New features were constantly in development, such as a low-vision capability to ignore the user’s white cane. To support the continuous improvement of LUCI, the company required a mechanism to deploy updates to its products in the field.


OTA Software Update Solution Technical Requirements

Tick Deploy software updates completely over the air
Tick Provide a fail-safe design with rollback capabilities
Tick Utilize the Yocto Embedded Linux device operating system
Tick Support application updates for Intel RealSense vision cameras
Tick Manage a device fleet at scale easily
Tick Minimize the bandwidth costs of deploying updates over cellular networks


The Solution

Implementing safe OTA updates 

The capability to continuously and easily deploy updates to its product was a critical component for the LUCI team. LUCI wanted to determine its OTA infrastructure setup and process from the very beginning of product development and production to enable rapid innovation that adapted to customer needs.

As a safety-sensitive medical product, LUCI selected Mender for secure and robust OTA software updates. The robustness provided by Mender, such as its fail-safe design, ensured LUCI power wheelchairs were never bricked and continued to function properly even if an update failed. Mender enables LUCI to regularly deploy updates to its products at scale, including new features, algorithm enhancements, and bug fixes. Through continuous innovation and updates, LUCI further improves the ability of its product to detect obstacles, ignore false positives, and address user requirements.

Mender seamlessly integrated with the LUCI technology ecosystem, including utilizing the Yocto Embedded Linux, Dunfell and Kirkstone, operating systems, support for Intel RealSense cameras, and integration with the Compulab NXP i.MX 8M MPU on system of module (SOM). Supporting full root filesystem updates, Mender facilitated a smooth migration from the Yocto Dunfell to the Kirkstone version.


“We’re excited to keep pushing out solutions to our users that give them safe, independent mobility. Mender OTA is a crucial part of keeping users safe by enabling the release of new capabilities as well as bug fixes and security patches.” 

- Kevin Lannen, Senior Embedded Systems Engineer


The Mender Difference

Group 8455 Superior flexibility over
container-based alternatives
Group 8456 Eliminates the complexity of writing applications to fit in containers
Group 8462-1 Custom state scripts offered greater granularity to control updates Group 8457 Support for deploying updates to microcontrollers on the edge of the system


Technology Ecosystem

Tick Yocto Embedded Linux (Dunfell and Kirkstone)
Tick Compulab NXP i.MX 8M MPU System of Module (SOM)
Tick Intel RealSense stereo vision platform
Tick Bare Metal C microcontollers
Tick mmWave radar





Accelerated innovation with robust security and safety

Optimized device updates. With Mender, the LUCI team can now update its solution completely over the air at scale, including new features, bug fixes, security patches, and full root filesystem updates. The LUCI team can innovate and deploy updates faster, more efficiently, and securely.

Enhanced product troubleshooting. With Mender, any developer can deploy to test chairs at any time, creating a known state for test chairs and facilitating easier bug hunting. Developers leverage Mender to routinely test new features, identify regressions, and continuously improve LUCI.

Established a Best-of-Breed Partner. Partnering with Mender for secure and robust OTA software updates allowed the LUCI team to focus on continuous product innovation to reimagine mobility.




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