Indoor and Outdoor Mobility for an Intelligent Autonomous Wheelchair
A smart wheelchair was developed to provide users with increased independence and flexibility in their lives. The wheelchair can be operated in a fully autonomous mode or a hybrid brain-controlled mode while the continuously running autonomous mode may override the user-generated motion command to avoid potential dangers. The wheelchair’s indoor mobility has been demonstrated by operating it in a dynamically occupied hallway, where the smart wheelchair intelligently interacted with pedestrians. An extended operation of the wheelchair for outdoor environments was also explored. Terrain recognition based on visual image processes and multi-layer neural learning network was demonstrated. A mounted Laser Range Finder (LRF) was used to determine terrain drop-offs and steps and to detect stationary and moving obstacles for autonomous path planning. Real-time imaging of the outdoor scenes using the oscillating LRF was attempted; however, the overhead in generating a three-dimensional point cloud exceeded the onboard computer capability.
KeywordsAutonomous Mode Laser Range Finder Wheelchair User Motion Command Grass Field
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