Assessment of Joystick Control During the Performance of Powered Wheelchair Driving TasksBy Sorrento, Gianluca; Archambault, Philippe A.; Routhier, Francois; Dessureault, Danielle; Boissy, Patrick; Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 8, No. 31
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Study explored the validity of outcome measures of driving skills based on joystick control strategies and performance recorded using a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance were compared during standardized driving tasks between two groups: an experimental group of 4 female and 6 male expert powered wheelchair (PW) users with neurological impairments and a mean age of 52 years, and 8 female and 5 male participants with no prior PW driving experience, no physical impairments, and a mean age of 24 years. Participants operated the rear-wheeled Orthofab Oasis II PW. Driving tasks were drawn from the Wheelchair Skills Test version 4.1. and included (1) Rolls Backward 5 Meters, (2) Turns 90 degrees While Moving, (3) Turns 180 degrees in Place, (4) Maneuvers Sideways, and (5) Gets Through Hinged Door in Both Directions. Data from the joystick controller were collected on a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance outcome measures included the mean number of joystick movements, time required to complete tasks, as well as variability of joystick direction. In simpler tasks, the expert group’s driving skills were comparable to those of the novice group. Yet, in more difficult and spatially confined tasks, the expert group required fewer joystick movements for task completion. In some cases, experts also completed tasks in approximately half the time required by the novice group. Based on these findings, the authors conclude that the use of joystick signal analysis constitutes an objective tool for the measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills.
Published by: BioMed Central Ltd (Website:http://www.biomedcentral.com)
Link to text: http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/8/1/31