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Design of a haptic guidance solution for assisted power wheelchair navigation

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Abstract

Smart powered wheelchairs can increase mobility and independence for people with disability by providing navigation support. This support can be supplied in the form of autonomous or semi-autonomous obstacle avoidance systems. However, for rehabilitation or learning purposes, it would be of great benefit for wheelchair users to have a better understanding of the surrounding environment while driving. Therefore, another way of providing navigation support is to communicate information through a dedicated and adapted feedback interface. We here propose a framework in which feedback is provided by sending forces through the wheelchair controller as the user steers the wheelchair. This solution is based on a low complex optimization framework able to perform smooth trajectory correction and to provide obstacle avoidance. The impact of the proposed haptic guidance solution on user driving performance was assessed during this pilot study for validation purposes through an experiment with 4 able-bodied participants. They were asked to drive a power wheelchair on an obstacle course with and without activation of the force feedback. Results of this pilot study showed that the number of collisions significantly decreased while force feedback was activated, thus validating the proposed framework.
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Dates and versions

hal-01866150 , version 1 (03-09-2018)

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Cite

Louise Devigne, François Pasteau, Marie Babel, Vishnu K Narayanan, Sylvain Guegan, et al.. Design of a haptic guidance solution for assisted power wheelchair navigation. SMC2018 - IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Oct 2018, Miyazaki, Japan. pp.3231-3236, ⟨10.1109/SMC.2018.00547⟩. ⟨hal-01866150⟩
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