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Research Papers

Control and Evaluation of a Motorized Attendant Wheelchair With Haptic Interface

[+] Author and Article Information
Oscar Y. Chuy, Jr.

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
University of West Florida,
Pensacola, FL 32514
e-mail: ochuy@uwf.edu

Jonathan Herrero

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
University of West Florida,
Pensacola, FL 32514
e-mail: jah119@students.uwf.edu

Asma Al-Selwadi

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
University of West Florida,
Pensacola, FL 32514
e-mail: ama74@students.uwf.edu

Adam Mooers

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
University of West Florida,
Pensacola, FL 32514
e-mail: acm50@students.uwf.edu

Manuscript received October 21, 2017; final manuscript received August 11, 2018; published online November 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler.

J. Med. Devices 13(1), 011002 (Nov 05, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-17-1333; doi: 10.1115/1.4041336 History: Received October 21, 2017; Revised August 11, 2018

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.

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Topics: Haptics , Wheelchairs
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Motorized attendant wheelchair based on a conventional electric powered wheelchair electronically modified to handle realtime control and haptic control interface

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Fig. 2

Wheel, motor, and encoder assembly of the motorized attendant wheelchair. The encoder is attached at the back of the motor to measure angular wheel position.

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Fig. 3

Hardware diagram of the motorized attendant wheelchair with haptic control interface

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Fig. 4

Kinematic diagram of the attendant wheelchair, where vR is the linear velocity, ωR is the angular velocity, v1 is the linear velocity of the left wheel, and v2 is the linear velocity of the right wheel

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Fig. 5

Control diagram of the motorized attendant wheelchair

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Fig. 6

(a) Task 1: a task that simulates a scenario where an attendant moves a patient into a room with limited space. It requires maneuvers of the wheelchair mostly turns and forward motion and (b) task 2: a task that simulates a scenario where an attendant moves a patient out of a room and can only be performed by backing up the wheelchair.

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Fig. 7

(a) Average completion times and standard deviations of task 1 using joystick and haptic interfaces and (b) average completion times and standard deviations of task 2 using joystick and haptic interfaces

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Fig. 8

(a) Average completion times and standard deviations of task 1 using attendant propelled and motorized with haptic interface wheelchairs and (b) average completion times and standard deviations of task 2 using attendant propelled and motorized with haptic interface wheelchairs

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Fig. 9

(a) Average completion times and standard deviations of task 1 using attendant propelled and motorized with haptic interface. The wheelchairs had a load of 125 kg. (b) Average completion times and standard deviations of task 2 using attendant propelled and motorized with haptic interface. The wheelchairs had a load of 125 kg.

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