Attendant wheelchairs provide a means to transport patients or mobility to people with walking disability. They can be attendant propelled, which are highly maneuverable in confined spaces, but offer no power assistance. Also, they can be electric powered with joystick control interface, which provides power assistance, but not as maneuverable as the attendant propelled wheelchair. With the objective of providing power assistance and having excellent maneuverability, this paper presents a motorized attendant wheelchair with haptic interface. Its control approach is based on virtual/desired dynamics, which is not the true dynamics of the wheelchair, but a mathematical model describing the motion behavior of a desired system. The desired dynamics takes the user's applied force/torque and yields desired velocities of the wheelchair. In the evaluation, tasks in confined spaces that require a lot of maneuvers were given and performed using the motorized wheelchair with haptic and joystick control interfaces. The results in terms of task completion times showed that motorized wheelchair with haptic significantly outperformed the motorized wheelchair with joystick interface. In addition, the performance of the motorized with haptic interface and attendant propelled wheelchairs were evaluated at two different loads. At heavy load, the task completion times of motorized wheelchair with haptic interface were comparable to the attendant propelled wheelchair.
Control and Evaluation of a Motorized Attendant Wheelchair With Haptic Interface
Manuscript received October 21, 2017; final manuscript received August 11, 2018; published online November 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler.
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Chuy, O. Y., Herrero, J., Al-Selwadi, A., and Mooers, A. (November 5, 2018). "Control and Evaluation of a Motorized Attendant Wheelchair With Haptic Interface." ASME. J. Med. Devices. March 2019; 13(1): 011002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4041336
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