A robotic wheelchair trainer: design overview and a feasibility study

Marchal Crespo, Laura; Furumasu, Jan; Reinkensmeyer, David J (2010). A robotic wheelchair trainer: design overview and a feasibility study. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 7(1), p. 40. BioMed Central 10.1186/1743-0003-7-40

[img]
Preview
Text
document(5).pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Background Experiencing independent mobility is important for children with a severe movement disability, but learning to drive a powered wheelchair can be labor intensive, requiring hand-over-hand assistance from a skilled therapist. Methods To improve accessibility to training, we developed a robotic wheelchair trainer that steers itself along a course marked by a line on the floor using computer vision, haptically guiding the driver's hand in appropriate steering motions using a force feedback joystick, as the driver tries to catch a mobile robot in a game of "robot tag". This paper provides a detailed design description of the computer vision and control system. In addition, we present data from a pilot study in which we used the chair to teach children without motor impairment aged 4-9 (n = 22) to drive the wheelchair in a single training session, in order to verify that the wheelchair could enable learning by the non-impaired motor system, and to establish normative values of learning rates. Results and Discussion Training with haptic guidance from the robotic wheelchair trainer improved the steering ability of children without motor impairment significantly more than training without guidance. We also report the results of a case study with one 8-year-old child with a severe motor impairment due to cerebral palsy, who replicated the single-session training protocol that the non-disabled children participated in. This child also improved steering ability after training with guidance from the joystick by an amount even greater than the children without motor impairment. Conclusions The system not only provided a safe, fun context for automating driver's training, but also enhanced motor learning by the non-impaired motor system, presumably by demonstrating through intuitive movement and force of the joystick itself exemplary control to follow the course. The case study indicates that a child with a motor system impaired by CP can also gain a short-term benefit from driver's training with haptic guidance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Marchal Crespo, Laura

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

1743-0003

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2018 09:25

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 18:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1743-0003-7-40

PubMed ID:

20707886

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.117035

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/117035

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback