Adapted Control Methods for Cerebral Palsy Users of an Intelligent Wheelchair
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The development of an intelligent wheel chair (IW) platform that may be easily adapted to any commercial electric powered wheelchair and aid any person with special mobility needs is the main objective of the IntellWheels project. To be able to achieve this main objective, three distinct control methods were implemented in the IW: manual, shared and automatic. Several algorithms were developed for each of these control methods. This paper presents three of the most significant of those algorithms with emphasis on the shared control method. Experiments were performed by users suffering from cerebral palsy, using a realistic simulator, in order to validate the approach. The experiments revealed the importance of using shared (aided) controls for users with severe disabilities. The patients still felt having complete control over the wheelchair movement when using a shared control at a 50 % level and thus this control type was very well accepted. Thus it may be used in intelligent wheelchairs since it is able to correct the direction in case of involuntary movements of the user but still gives him a sense of complete control over the IW movement.
KeywordsIntelligent robotics Intelligent systems Intelligent wheelchair Shared control Cerebral palsy
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