Intention driven assistive wheelchair navigation

Technical Report 470, University of Hertfordshire
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proc. of "Robotic Helpers: User Interaction, Interfaces and Companions in Assistive and Therapy Robotics", a Workshop at ACM/IEEE Human Robot Interaction 2008 (HRI 2008), 2008, pp. 71 - 77
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This paper presents an intelligent decision-making agent to assist wheelchair users in their daily navigation activities. The system has the ability to predict the users intended destination at a larger scale, that of a typical office or home arena. This system relies on minimal user input - obtained from a standard wheelchair joystick - in conjunction with a learned Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), to estimate and subsequently aid in driving the user to the destination. The projection is constantly being updated, allowing for true user-platform integration. This shifts users focus from fine motor-skilled control to coarse guidance, broadly intended to convey intention. Successful simulation and experimental results on a real automated wheelchair platform demonstrate the validity of the approach.
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