Experimental study on a smart wheelchair system using a combination of stereoscopic and spherical vision

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, 2013, pp. 4597 - 4600
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This paper is concerned with the experimental study performance of a smart wheelchair system named TIM (Thought-controlled Intelligent Machine), which uses a unique camera configuration for vision. Included in this configuration are stereoscopic cameras for 3-Dimensional (3D) depth perception and mapping ahead of the wheelchair, and a spherical camera system for 360-degrees of monocular vision. The camera combination provides obstacle detection and mapping in unknown environments during real-time autonomous navigation of the wheelchair. With the integration of hands-free wheelchair control technology, designed as control methods for people with severe physical disability, the smart wheelchair system can assist the user with automated guidance during navigation. An experimental study on this system was conducted with a total of 10 participants, consisting of 8 able-bodied subjects and 2 tetraplegic (C-6 to C-7) subjects. The hands-free control technologies utilized for this testing were a head-movement controller (HMC) and a brain-computer interface (BCI). The results showed the assistance of TIM's automated guidance system had a statistically significant reduction effect (p-value = 0.000533) on the completion times of the obstacle course presented in the experimental study, as compared to the test runs conducted without the assistance of TIM. © 2013 IEEE.
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