Vestibular Feedback on a Virtual Reality Wheelchair Driving Simulator: A Pilot Study

Guillaume Vailland 1 Yoren Gaffary 2 Louise Devigne 1 Valérie Gouranton 3, 2 Bruno Arnaldi 2 Marie Babel 1
1 RAINBOW - Sensor-based and interactive robotics
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D5 - SIGNAUX ET IMAGES NUMÉRIQUES, ROBOTIQUE
2 Hybrid - 3D interaction with virtual environments using body and mind
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D6 - MEDIA ET INTERACTIONS
Abstract : Autonomy and the ability to maintain social activities can be challenging for people with disabilities experiencing reduced mobility. In the case of disabilities that impact mobility, power wheelchairs can help such people retain or regain autonomy. Nonetheless, driving a power wheelchair is a complex task that requires a combination of cognitive, visual and visuo-spatial abilities. In practice, people need to pass prior ability tests and driving training before being prescribed a power wheelchair by their therapist. Still, conventional training in occupational therapy can be insufficient for some people with severe cognitive and/or visuo-spatial functions. As such, these people are often prevented from obtaining a power wheelchair prescription from their therapist due to safety concerns. In this context, driving simulators might be efficient and promising tools to provide alternative, adaptive, flexible, and safe training. In previous work, we proposed a Virtual Reality (VR) driving simula-tor integrating vestibular feedback to simulate wheelchair motion sensations. The performance and acceptability of a VR simulator rely on satisfying user Quality of Experience (QoE). Therefore, our simulator is designed to give the user a high Sense of Presence (SoP) and low Cybersickness. This paper presents a pilot study assessing the impact of the vestibular feedback provied on user QoE. Participants were asked to perform a driving task whilst in the simulator under two conditions: with and without vestibular feedback. User QoE is assessed through subjective questionnaires measuring user SoP and cybersickness. The results show that vestibular feedback activation increases SoP and decreases cybersickness. This study constitutes a mandatory step before clinical trials and, as such, only enrolled people without disabilities.
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Guillaume Vailland, Yoren Gaffary, Louise Devigne, Valérie Gouranton, Bruno Arnaldi, et al.. Vestibular Feedback on a Virtual Reality Wheelchair Driving Simulator: A Pilot Study. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2020, Mar 2020, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ⟨10.1145/3319502.3374825⟩. ⟨hal-02457416⟩

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