We present a new framework for allowing spinal cord injured patients to control a powered wheelchair through signals derived from the patients’ residual mobility. The main novelty of this approach lies in substituting the typical joystick controllers of powered wheelchairs with a sensor shirt. This allows the whole upper body of the patient to operate as an adaptive joystick. Learning how to navigagte the wheelchair using movements of the upper body requires the disabled person to remap his control-space representation. Our goal is to facilitate this remapping by using the degrees of freedom that patients are most capable to coordinate. This leads to a design that is both custom- oriented and time-varying. With the exception perhaps of the most severe cases- mobility lost to spinal injury can be partially recoverd by remapping the redundant degrees of freedom that remain available to the patients. Considerations about risks, particularly for the spinal cord injured popula- tion, have lead us to develop a safe testing environment in 3D Virtual Reality. Personal Augmented Reality Immersive System (PARIS) allows us to analyse learning skills and give patients an adequate training to control a simulated wheelchair through the signals generated by body motions in a safe environment. We provide a description of the basic theory, of the development phases and of the operation of the complete system. We also present some preliminary results obtained from subjects using upper body postures to control the simulated wheelchair.

CONTROLLING WHEELCHAIRS BY BODY MOTIONS: A LEARNING FRAMEWORK FOR THE ADAPTIVE REMAPPING OF SPACE

TOGNETTI, ALESSANDRO;DE ROSSI, DANILO EMILIO;
2008

Abstract

We present a new framework for allowing spinal cord injured patients to control a powered wheelchair through signals derived from the patients’ residual mobility. The main novelty of this approach lies in substituting the typical joystick controllers of powered wheelchairs with a sensor shirt. This allows the whole upper body of the patient to operate as an adaptive joystick. Learning how to navigagte the wheelchair using movements of the upper body requires the disabled person to remap his control-space representation. Our goal is to facilitate this remapping by using the degrees of freedom that patients are most capable to coordinate. This leads to a design that is both custom- oriented and time-varying. With the exception perhaps of the most severe cases- mobility lost to spinal injury can be partially recoverd by remapping the redundant degrees of freedom that remain available to the patients. Considerations about risks, particularly for the spinal cord injured popula- tion, have lead us to develop a safe testing environment in 3D Virtual Reality. Personal Augmented Reality Immersive System (PARIS) allows us to analyse learning skills and give patients an adequate training to control a simulated wheelchair through the signals generated by body motions in a safe environment. We provide a description of the basic theory, of the development phases and of the operation of the complete system. We also present some preliminary results obtained from subjects using upper body postures to control the simulated wheelchair.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/278545
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