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The Hephaestus Smart Wheelchair System is envisioned as a series of components that clinicians and wheelchair manufacturers will be able to attach to standard power wheelchairs to convert them into "smart wheelchairs." A prototype of the system has been developed and mounted on an Everest and Jennings Lancer2000 wheelchair. The prototype bases its navigation assistance behavior on the behavior developed for the NavChair Assistive Wheelchair Navigation System, but the underlying hardware and software are being designed to facilitate commercialization. This paper describes our design goals for the Hephaestus system and discusses the current status of the system prototype as well as plans for future work.