Towards an intelligent wheelchair system for users with cerebral palsy
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This paper describes and evaluates an intelligent wheelchair, adapted for users with cognitive disabilities and mobility impairment. The study focuses on patients with cerebral palsy, one of the most common disorders affecting muscle control and coordination, thereby impairing movement. The wheelchair concept is an assistive device that allows the user to select arbitrary local destinations through a tactile screen interface. The device incorporates an automatic navigation system that drives the vehicle, avoiding obstacles even in unknown and dynamic scenarios. It provides the user with a high degree of autonomy, independent from a particular environment, i.e., not restricted to predefined conditions. To evaluate the rehabilitation device, a study was carried out with four subjects with cognitive impairments, between 11 and 16 years of age. They were first trained so as to get acquainted with the tactile interface and then were recruited to drive the wheelchair. Based on the experience with the subjects, an extensive evaluation of the intelligent wheelchair was provided from two perspectives: 1) based on the technical performance of the entire system and its components and 2) based on the behavior of the user (execution analysis, activity analysis, and competence analysis). The results indicated that the intelligent wheelchair effectively provided mobility and autonomy to the target population.
CitationMontesano, L. [et al.]. Towards an intelligent wheelchair system for users with cerebral palsy. "IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering", 01 Febrer 2010, vol. 18, núm. 2, p. 193-202.