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INTELLIGENT WHEELCHAIR DESIGN
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Independent mobility is crucial for childhood development and adult functional independence. We propose to develop a "smart wheelchair" to serve as (1) a mobility aid to provide safe and independent motion to users immediately and (2) an instructional tool to help users develop skills necessary to operate a power wheelchair without technological intervention. The smart wheelchair will make use of a variety of sensors attached to an on board computer to provide navigation assistance to the wheelchair operator. In Phase I, a prototype will be developed that accepts input from a standard analog joystick and shares control of the wheelchair with the user to prevent collisions with obstacles. The prototype will be evaluated by both clinicians and potential users during clinical trials. In Phase II, the prototype will be expanded to accommodate multiple input methods and provide varying levels of assistance to the wheelchair user depending on the user's needs and abilities.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *