ATRS - A Technology-Based Solution to Automobility for Wheelchair Users
In this paper, we present the Automated Transport and Retrieval System (ATRS). ATRS represents an alternative to van conversions for automobile drivers with lower body disabilities. It employs robotics and automation technologies that integrate into a standard mini-van or sport utility vehicle (SUV). At the core of ATRS is a “smart” wheelchair that navigates between the driver’s position and a powered lift at the rear of the vehicle - eliminating the need for an attendant. From an automation perspective, autonomously docking the wheelchair onto the lift platform presented the most significant technical challenge during system development. This was driven by geometry constraints, which limited clearance between the chair wheels and the lift platform rails. To solve this problem, we employed an LMS291 LIDAR in conjunction with an Extended Kalman Filter for reliable and accurate wheelchair localization. Coupled with a hybrid controller design, the system has proven to be exceptionally robust. This was validated through extensive simulation and experimental results, culminating in a three-day demonstration at the 2006 World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities where the system completed over 300 consecutive cycles without a failure.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.National Council on Disabilities. In: The Current State of Transportation for People with Disabilities in the United States, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, D.C. 20004 (June 2005)Google Scholar
- 2.Stern, S., Brault, M.: Disability Data From the American Community Survey: A Brief Examination of the Effects of Question Redesign in 2003 (January 2005)Google Scholar
- 3.Wood, T.: When your plan is a van: Decisions, Decisions A Guide to Asking the Right Questions and Choosing the Best Vehicle for You. Quest - Journal of the Muscular Dystrophy Association 11(2) (March-April 2004)Google Scholar
- 4.Miller, D., Slack, M.: Design and testing of a low-cost robotic wheelchair prototype. Autonomous Robots 1(3) (1995)Google Scholar
- 5.Yanco, H.: Wheelesley, a robotic wheelchair system: indoor navigation and user interface. In: Assistive Technology and Artificial Intelligence. LNCS (LNAI), pp. 256–268 (1998)Google Scholar
- 6.Gomi, T., Griffith, A.: Developing intelligent wheelchairs for the handicapped. In: Assitive Technology and Artificial Intelligence. LNCS (LNAI), pp. 150–178 (1998)Google Scholar
- 8.Parikh, S.P., Grassi, V., Kumar, V., Okamoto, J.: Incorporating user inputs in motion planning for a smart wheelchair. In: Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), New Orleans, LA, pp. 2043–2048 (2004)Google Scholar
- 9.Sermeno-Villalta, H., Spletzer, J.: Vision-based Control of a Smart Wheelchair for the Automated Transport and Retrieval System. In: Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2006), Orlando, FL, USA (May 2006)Google Scholar
- 11.Oriolo, G., Luca, A., Vendittelli, M.: Wmr control via dynamic feedback linearization: Design (2002)Google Scholar