Design and Development of a New Sensor System for Assistive Powered WheelchairsBy Nuttin, Marnix; Claes, Victor; Technology and Disability, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 7-15
Publication Date: 2007
Paper focuses on the design of a light detection and ranging scanner for electric powered wheelchairs, which was designed to detect and measure distances to obstacles. This can allow the user to slow down to a safe speed, to avoid collisions, and to provide assistance to navigate between obstacles. The system was designed for people who feel unsafe while operating a powered wheelchair, children who do not understand the damage that can be done when operating a heavy wheelchair, and older adults who need a powered wheelchair, but who are afraid to learn because of potential damages to the household. A number of design specifications are presented, including: (1) the sensor should be able to measure objects at a distance of four meters; (2) should be two to five centimeters or less for distances under one meter, and ten centimeters or less for distances above two meters; (3) should produce as little noise as possible so that the driver and people in the immediate vicinity are not disturbed; (4) should be smaller than ten square centimeters so that it is easy to transfer in and out of wheelchairs; and (5) the sensor should be cheap, easy to produce, and built from readily available materials. Early test results on the prototype system are reported to show promising results in terms of meeting these design criteria. The system was designed by researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Center of Technology for the Disabled in Antwerp, Belgium.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )