Joystick Control for Powered Mobility: Current State of Technology and Future DirectionsBy Dicianno, Brad E.; Cooper, Rory A.; Coltellaro, John; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, Vol. 21, pp. 79-86
Publication Date: 2010
Article provides an overview of joystick interfaces enabling individuals with limited motor function, sensation, or cognition to operate electric power wheelchairs (EPWs). The standard EPW joystick prescribed, the movement sensing joystick (MSJ), is a type of proportional control, so named because wheelchair velocity increases proportionally to the movement of the stick from center. The joystick is composed of the stick itself and a controller acting as the intermediary between the human input on the stick and the output of the EPW. Controllers can be nonexpandable to control speed and direction of the chair as well as its power seating actuators, or expandable to accommodate other input devices such as a head array or sip and puff switch. Appropriate mounting of the input devices for optimal functional operation is discussed, as is programming and customizing different joystick parameters such as torque, sensitivity, and acceleration. Additional joystick features described include buttons, dials, or toggle switches that allow the user to switch modes or shortcut to different functions. Future developments in joystick technology outlined include isometric devices as exemplified by the Human Engineering Research Laboratories Isometric Joystick (HERLIJ), which uses a programmable embedded microcontroller that provides some flexibility in how the user’s input is interpreted. Other directions of future research discussed are software for increasing joystick responsiveness and decreasing output errors and variability, and a device for recording the signals generated from control interfaces for subsequent analysis by clinicians.
Published by: Elsevier Inc. (Website:http://www.elsevier.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J58304