Shared Control Strategies for Obstacle Avoidance Tasks in an Intelligent Wheelchair

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2008, pp. 3463 - 3466
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In this paper we present a method of shared control strategy for an intelligent wheelchair to assist a disable user in performing obstacle avoidance tasks. The system detects obstacles in front of the wheelchair using a laser range finder sensor. As the wheelchair moves the information from the laser range finder is combined with data from the encoders mounted in its driving wheels to build a 360º real-time map. The accuracy of the map is improved by eliminating the systematic error that would result from both the uncertainty of effective wheelbase and unequal driving wheel diameters. The usable wheelchair accessible space is determined by including the actual wheelchair dimensions in producing the real-time map. In making a decision the shared control method considers the user's intentions via the head-movement interface, accessible space of the environment and user safety. The experiments show promising results in the intelligent wheelchair system.
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