The smart wheelchair

October 20, 2016, Inderscience Publishers

A wheelchair controller that automatically avoids obstacles and knows when the user is tired or stressed is being developed by researchers in India. Details are described in the International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation.

Naveen Kumar Malik of the Department of Electronics and Communication at Maharishi Dayanand University, in Haryana and V.R. Singh of the National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi, India, explain how they are developing a wheelchair navigation system that incorporates enhanced safety features and warning systems to assist users more effectively than any conventional powered wheelchair. The microcontroller is programmed with an algorithm that has six levels of testing surroundings and the user's voice to make the wheelchair "smart", creating what the team describes as a cognitive wheelchair navigation system.

The system circumvents several of the problems facing users and carers where conventional unpowered or powered wheelchairs are being used, especially by weaker users or users with cognitive impairment. The new microcontroller system endows the smart wheelchair with a collision avoidance and warning system, a system to discern emotional distress or drowsiness in the user and provide a warning of possible problems that might arise in such situations to the user or carer. The smart wheelchair could also monitor user's heart rate, temperature or other vital signs for diagnostic purposes.

The team has now built and demonstrated a prototype of their smart wheelchair controller and hopes to commercialize the system. "The commercial version of the prototyped autonomous wheelchair would reduce the burden on care-giving staff in healthcare industry and improve the quality of life for disabled persons," they conclude.

Explore further: E-wheelchair should weigh less

More information: Naveen Kumar Malik et al, A human inspired cognitive wheelchair navigation system, International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation (2016). DOI: 10.1504/IJHFMS.2016.10000483

Related Stories

E-wheelchair should weigh less

June 27, 2016
Whilst the advantages of a wheelchair with auxiliary drive are self-evident, they do not always outweigh the disadvantages. The weight of the construction can pose a physical burden on a certain group of wheelchair users, ...

Mobile telephone selects best route for wheelchair users

March 8, 2016
Bumps on surfaces, doorsteps or kerbs and the unsuitability of roads, pathways and buildings cause problems for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users can now use technology developed at the University of Twente to map out safe ...

Researchers license technology to prevent injury in wheelchair users

August 25, 2016
Wheelchair users facing persistent shoulder strain or injury will soon have assistance thanks to a device recently developed by University of Alberta researchers and partnered with help from TEC Edmonton's Technology Management ...

Team develops integrated iWheelchair system

March 18, 2016
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed an intelligent system called "iWheelchair", integrating a series of advanced PolyU technologies from its Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering (BME) ...

RF transmitter and receiver modules for wheelchair

February 7, 2012
Inventions can help physically-challenged people lead life with fewer difficulties. Mohd Thamrin, Rosman R. and Sarmawi D. S. of UiTM Shah Alam Malaysia studied the use of inexpensive RF transmitters and receiver modules ...

Wheelchair follows orders, but can act on its own, too

May 25, 2011
Five Northeastern University engineering seniors have developed an innovative, voice-operated wheelchair that can navigate through a cluttered room, move alongside walls and detect stairwells and other obstacles in its path ...

Recommended for you

Juul e-cigarettes pose addiction risk for young users, study finds

October 19, 2018
Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product's addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by ...

Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects

October 19, 2018
Adding highly refined fiber to processed foods could have negative effects on human health, such as promoting liver cancer, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Toledo.

Self-lubricating latex could boost condom use: study

October 17, 2018
A perpetually unctuous, self-lubricating latex developed by a team of scientists in Boston could boost the use of condoms, they reported Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

How healthy will we be in 2040?

October 17, 2018
A new scientific study of forecasts and alternative scenarios for life expectancy and major causes of death in 2040 shows all countries are likely to experience at least a slight increase in lifespans. In contrast, one scenario ...

Adequate consumption of 'longevity' vitamins could prolong healthy aging, nutrition scientist says

October 16, 2018
A detailed new review of nutritional science argues that most American diets are deficient in a key class of vitamins and minerals that play previously unrecognized roles in promoting longevity and in staving off chronic ...

Study finds evidence of intergenerational transmission of trauma among ex-POWs from the Civil War

October 16, 2018
A trio of researchers affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research has found evidence that suggests men who were traumatized while POWs during the U.S. Civil War transmitted that trauma to their offspring—many ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.