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Recent advancements of technologies, including computation, robotics, machine learning, communication, and miniaturization technologies, bring us closer to futuristic visions of compassionate intelligent devices. The missing element is a basic understanding of how to relate human functions (physiological, physical, and cognitive) to the design of intelligent devices and systems that aid and interact with people. Our stakeholder and clinician consultants identified a number of mobility barriers that have been intransigent to traditional approaches. The most important physical obstacles are stairs, steps, curbs, doorways (doors), rough/uneven surfaces, weather hazards (snow, ice), crowded/cluttered spaces, and confined spaces. Focus group participants suggested a number of ways to make interaction simpler, including natural language interfaces such as the ability to say ";I want a drink";, a library of high level commands (open a door, park the wheelchair, ...), and a touchscreen interface with images so the user could point and use other gestures.