Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: wheelchair

25 Design, Analysis and Obstacle Avoidance Control of an Electric Wheelchair with Sit-Sleep-Seat Elevation Functions

Authors: Waleed Ahmed, Huang Xiaohua, Wilayat Ali


The wheelchair users are generally exposed to physical and psychological health problems, e.g., pressure sores and pain in the hip joint, associated with seating posture or being inactive in a wheelchair for a long time. Reclining Wheelchair with back, thigh, and leg adjustment helps in daily life activities and health preservation. The seat elevating function of an electric wheelchair allows the user (lower limb amputation) to reach different heights. An electric wheelchair is expected to ease the lives of the elderly and disable people by giving them mobility support and decreasing the percentage of accidents caused by users’ narrow sight or joystick operation errors. Thus, this paper proposed the design, analysis and obstacle avoidance control of an electric wheelchair with sit-sleep-seat elevation functions. A 3D model of a wheelchair is designed in SolidWorks that was later used for multi-body dynamic (MBD) analysis and to verify driving control system. The control system uses the fuzzy algorithm to avoid the obstacle by getting information in the form of distance from the ultrasonic sensor and user-specified direction from the joystick’s operation. The proposed fuzzy driving control system focuses on the direction and velocity of the wheelchair. The wheelchair model has been examined and proven in MSC Adams (Automated Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems). The designed fuzzy control algorithm is implemented on Gazebo robotic 3D simulator using Robotic Operating System (ROS) middleware. The proposed wheelchair design enhanced mobility and quality of life by improving the user’s functional capabilities. Simulation results verify the non-accidental behavior of the electric wheelchair.

Keywords: fuzzy logic control, joystick, multi body dynamics, obstacle avoidance, scissor mechanism, sensor

Procedia PDF Downloads 21
24 Voice and Head Controlled Intelligent Wheelchair

Authors: Dechrit Maneetham


The aim of this paper was to design a void and head controlled electric power wheelchair (EPW). A novel activate the control system for quadriplegics with voice, head and neck mobility. Head movement has been used as a control interface for people with motor impairments in a range of applications. Acquiring measurements from the module is simplified through a synchronous a motor. Axis measures the two directions namely x and y. At the same time, patients can control the motorized wheelchair using voice signals (forward, backward, turn left, turn right, and stop) given by it self. The model of a dc motor is considered as a speed control by selection of a PID parameters using genetic algorithm. An experimental set-up constructed, which consists of micro controller as controller, a DC motor driven EPW and feedback elements. This paper is tuning methods of parameter for a pulse width modulation (PWM) control system. A speed controller has been designed successfully for closed loop of the dc motor so that the motor runs very closed to the reference speed and angle. Intelligent wheelchair can be used to ensure the person’s voice and head are attending the direction of travel asserted by a conventional, direction and speed control.

Keywords: wheelchair, quadriplegia, rehabilitation , medical devices, speed control

Procedia PDF Downloads 416
23 Four-Week Plyometric and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Sprint Performance in Wheelchair Racing Athletes

Authors: K. Thawichai, R. Pornthep


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a four week training period of combined plyometric and resistance training or resistance training alone on muscle strength and sprint performance in wheelchair racing athletes. The participants were sixteen healthy male wheelchair racing athletes of the Thai national team. All participants were randomly assignments into two groups in the plyometric and resistance training group (n = 8) performed plyometric exercises followed by resistance training, whereas the resistance training group (n = 8) performed static stretching and the same resistance training program. At baseline and after training all participants were tested on 1-RM bench press for muscle strength and 100-m cycling sprint performance. The results of this study show that the plyometric and resistance training group made significantly greater improvements in overall muscle strength and sprint performance than the resistance training group following training. In conclusion, these findings suggest that the addition of a four week plyometric and resistance training program more beneficial than resistance training alone on muscle strength and sprint performance in wheelchair racing athletes.

Keywords: plyometric, resistance training, strength, sprint, wheelchair athletes

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22 Fall Avoidance Control of Wheeled Inverted Pendulum Type Robotic Wheelchair While Climbing Stairs

Authors: Nan Ding, Motoki Shino, Nobuyasu Tomokuni, Genki Murata


The wheelchair is the major means of transport for physically disabled people. However, it cannot overcome architectural barriers such as curbs and stairs. In this paper, the authors proposed a method to avoid falling down of a wheeled inverted pendulum type robotic wheelchair for climbing stairs. The problem of this system is that the feedback gain of the wheels cannot be set high due to modeling errors and gear backlash, which results in the movement of wheels. Therefore, the wheels slide down the stairs or collide with the side of the stairs, and finally the wheelchair falls down. To avoid falling down, the authors proposed a slider control strategy based on skyhook model in order to decrease the movement of wheels, and a rotary link control strategy based on the staircase dimensions in order to avoid collision or slide down. The effectiveness of the proposed fall avoidance control strategy was validated by ODE simulations and the prototype wheelchair.

Keywords: EPW, fall avoidance control, skyhook, wheeled inverted pendulum

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21 Analysis of Mechanisms for Design of Add-On Device to Assist in Stair Climbing of Wheelchairs

Authors: Manish Kumar Prajapat, Vishwajeet Sikchi


In the present scenario, many motorized stair climbing wheelchairs are available in the western countries which are significantly expensive and hence are not popular in developing countries. Also, such wheelchairs tend to be bulkier and heavy which makes their use for normal conditions difficult. Manually operated solutions are rarely explored in this space. Therefore, this project aims at developing a manually operated cost effective solution for the same. Differently abled people are not required to climb stairs frequently in their daily use. Because of this, carrying a stair climbing mechanism attached to the wheelchair permanently adds redundant weight to the wheelchair which reduces ease of use of the wheelchair. Hence, the idea of add-on device for stair climbing was envisaged wherein the wheelchair is mounted onto add-on only at the time when climbing the stairs is required. This work analyses in detail the mechanism for stair climbing of conventional wheelchair followed by analysis and iterations on multiple mechanisms to identify the most suitable mechanism for application in the add-on device. Further, this work imparts specific attention to optimize the force and time required for stair climbing of wheelchairs. The most suitable mechanism identified was validated by building and testing a prototype.

Keywords: add-on device, Rocker-Bogie, stair climbing, star wheel, y wheel

Procedia PDF Downloads 109
20 A Smart Electric Power Wheelchair Controlled by Head Motion

Authors: Dechrit Maneetham


The aim of this paper was to design a smart electric power wheelchair (SEPW) with a novel control system for quadriplegics with head and neck mobility. Head movement has been used as a control interface for people with motor impairments in a range of applications. Acquiring measurements from the module is simplified through a synchronous a motor. Axis measures the two directions namely X ,Y and Z. The model of a DC motor is considered as a speed control by selection of a PID parameters using genetic algorithm. An experimental set-up constructed, which consists of micro controller Arduino ATmega32u4 as controllers, a DC motor driven SEPW and feedback elements. And this paper is tuning methods of parameter for a pulse width modulation (PWM) control system. A speed controller has been designed successfully for closed loop of the DC motor so that the motor runs very closed to the reference speed and angle. SEPW controller can be used to ensure the person’s head is attending the direction of travel asserted by a conventional, direction and speed control.

Keywords: wheelchair, quadriplegia, rehabilitation, medical devices, speed control

Procedia PDF Downloads 300
19 Including Local Economic and Anthropometric Parameters in the Design of an Stand up Wheelchair

Authors: Urrutia Fernando, López Jessica, Sánchez Carlos, San Antonio Thalía


Ecuador, as a signatory country of the convention of the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) has, in the recent years, strengthened the structures and legal framework required to protect this minority comprised of 13.2% of its total population. However, the reality is that this group has disproportionately low earnings and low educational attainment in comparison with the general population. The main struggles, to promote job placement of wheelchairs users, are environmental discrimination caused by accessibility in structures and transportation, this mainly due to the cost, for private and public entities, of performing the reasonable accommodation they require. It is widely known that product development and production is needed to support effective implementation of the CRPD and that walking and standing are the major life activities, in this context the objective of this investigation is to promote job placement of wheelchair user in the province of Tungurahua by means of the design, production and marketing of a customized stand up wheelchair. Exploratory interviews and measurements were performed in a representative sample of working age wheelchairs users that develop their disability after achieving their physical maturity and that are capable of performing professional activities with their upper limbs, this in order to detect the user’s preference and determine the local economic and anthropometric parameters to be included in the wheelchair design. The findings reveal factors that uniquely impact quality of life and development for people with a mobility disability within the context of the province, first that transportation is a big issue since public buses does not have accessibility for wheelchair users and the absence of curb cuts and the presence of trash bins over the sidewalks among other hinders an economic independent mobility, second that the proposal based in the idea of modifying the wheelchairs to make it able to overcome certain obstacles helps people in wheelchair to improve their independent living and by reducing the costs of modification for the employer could improve their chances of finding work.

Keywords: anthropometrics, job placement, stand up wheelchair, user centered design

Procedia PDF Downloads 425
18 An Image Processing Based Approach for Assessing Wheelchair Cushions

Authors: B. Farahani, R. Fadil, A. Aboonabi, B. Hoffmann, J. Loscheider, K. Tavakolian, S. Arzanpour


Wheelchair users spend long hours in a sitting position, and selecting the right cushion is highly critical in preventing pressure ulcers in that demographic. Pressure mapping systems (PMS) are typically used in clinical settings by therapists to identify the sitting profile and pressure points in the sitting area to select the cushion that fits the best for the users. A PMS is a flexible mat composed of arrays of distributed networks of flexible sensors. The output of the PMS systems is a color-coded image that shows the intensity of the pressure concentration. Therapists use the PMS images to compare different cushions fit for each user. This process is highly subjective and requires good visual memory for the best outcome. This paper aims to develop an image processing technique to analyze the images of PMS and provide an objective measure to assess the cushions based on their pressure distribution mappings. In this paper, we first reviewed the skeletal anatomy of the human sitting area and its relation to the PMS image. This knowledge is then used to identify the important features that must be considered in image processing. We then developed an algorithm based on those features to analyze the images and rank them according to their fit to the users' needs.

Keywords: dynamic cushion, image processing, pressure mapping system, wheelchair

Procedia PDF Downloads 42
17 Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Efficiency on Different Slopes

Authors: A. Boonpratatong, J. Pantong, S. Kiattisaksophon, W. Senavongse


In this study, an integrated sensing and modeling system for manual wheelchair propulsion measurement and propulsion efficiency calculation was used to indicate the level of overuse. Seven subjects participated in the measurement. On the level surface, the propulsion efficiencies were not different significantly as the riding speed increased. By contrast, the propulsion efficiencies on the 15-degree incline were restricted to around 0.5. The results are supported by previously reported wheeling resistance and propulsion torque relationships implying margin of the overuse. Upper limb musculoskeletal injuries and syndromes in manual wheelchair riders are common, chronic, and may be caused at different levels by the overuse i.e. repetitive riding on steep incline. The qualitative analysis such as the mechanical effectiveness on manual wheeling to establish the relationship between the riding difficulties, mechanical efforts and propulsion outputs is scarce, possibly due to the challenge of simultaneous measurement of those factors in conventional manual wheelchairs and everyday environments. In this study, the integrated sensing and modeling system were used to measure manual wheelchair propulsion efficiency in conventional manual wheelchairs and everyday environments. The sensing unit is comprised of the contact pressure and inertia sensors which are portable and universal. Four healthy male and three healthy female subjects participated in the measurement on level and 15-degree incline surface. Subjects were asked to perform manual wheelchair ridings with three different self-selected speeds on level surface and only preferred speed on the 15-degree incline. Five trials were performed in each condition. The kinematic data of the subject’s dominant hand and a spoke and the trunk of the wheelchair were collected through the inertia sensors. The compression force applied from the thumb of the dominant hand to the push rim was collected through the contact pressure sensors. The signals from all sensors were recorded synchronously. The subject-selected speeds for slow, preferred and fast riding on level surface and subject-preferred speed on 15-degree incline were recorded. The propulsion efficiency as a ratio between the pushing force in tangential direction to the push rim and the net force as a result of the three-dimensional riding motion were derived by inverse dynamic problem solving in the modeling unit. The intra-subject variability of the riding speed was not different significantly as the self-selected speed increased on the level surface. Since the riding speed on the 15-degree incline was difficult to regulate, the intra-subject variability was not applied. On the level surface, the propulsion efficiencies were not different significantly as the riding speed increased. However, the propulsion efficiencies on the 15-degree incline were restricted to around 0.5 for all subjects on their preferred speed. The results are supported by the previously reported relationship between the wheeling resistance and propulsion torque in which the wheelchair axle torque increased but the muscle activities were not increased when the resistance is high. This implies the margin of dynamic efforts on the relatively high resistance being similar to the margin of the overuse indicated by the restricted propulsion efficiency on the 15-degree incline.

Keywords: contact pressure sensor, inertia sensor, integrating sensing and modeling system, manual wheelchair propulsion efficiency, manual wheelchair propulsion measurement, tangential force, resultant force, three-dimensional riding motion

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16 Development of Detachable Brake System for Moving Apparatus

Authors: Bong-Keun Jung, Jung-Yeon Kim


The aim of this study was to investigate usability of detachable brake system for moving apparatus such as baby strollers, manual wheelchairs or walkers. The current brake system was proposed to prevent that moving apparatus slip on sloping roadways when unattended as current built-in manual brake for the moving apparatus is not able to react for the matter. The developed detachable brake system enacted by force sensor on the hand grip showed the possibilities to prevent unexpected accident due to uncontrolled stroller or wheelchair use. To investigate the quality and acceptance of this new technology, standard stroller testbed was built and the use of moving apparatus which attached to the proposed brake system was analyzed through video recording. Additional usability questionnaires were given to test users for measuring usability issues.

Keywords: brake system, stroller, wheelchair, usability test

Procedia PDF Downloads 250
15 Human Machine Interface for Controlling a Robot Using Image Processing

Authors: Ambuj Kumar Gautam, V. Vasu


This paper introduces a head movement based Human Machine Interface (HMI) that uses the right and left movements of head to control a robot motion. Here we present an approach for making an effective technique for real-time face orientation information system, to control a robot which can be efficiently used for Electrical Powered Wheelchair (EPW). Basically this project aims at application related to HMI. The system (machine) identifies the orientation of the face movement with respect to the pixel values of image in a certain areas. Initially we take an image and divide that whole image into three parts on the basis of its number of columns. On the basis of orientation of face, maximum pixel value of approximate same range of (R, G, and B value of a pixel) lie in one of divided parts of image. This information we transfer to the microcontroller through serial communication port and control the motion of robot like forward motion, left and right turn and stop in real time by using head movements.

Keywords: electrical powered wheelchair (EPW), human machine interface (HMI), robotics, microcontroller

Procedia PDF Downloads 198
14 Accessibility for the Disabled in Public Buildings: The Case of a Nigerian University

Authors: S. P. Akinbogun, P. Oloruntoyin


One of the millennium development goals is the reduction of illiteracy. The state of user friendliness of the educational buildings is expected to play a significant role in the quest, particularly among the physically challenged. This study considers the state of access of educational buildings to disabled on wheel chair and crutches. It draws context from one of the federal universities in Nigeria. The study is basically qualitative; data were collected through structured interview and observation to assess compliance with the prescribed accessibility standard of academic buildings in the Federal University of Technology Akure. The study found that narrow entrances and routes of buildings, raised steps at entrances of the buildings, and ramps were absent. This implies exclusion as it renders most of the buildings inaccessible to wheelchair users. Perhaps, it accounts for low enrolment of wheelchair users in the institution despite many of them in the city. The implication is a challenge in the achievement of the millennium development goal concerning the reduction in the level of illiteracy in the country. The study suggests that government should strictly ensure that public buildings should satisfy or retrofitted to meet disabled access before development approval. This should be followed with the issuance of certificate of compliance upon completion.

Keywords: public building, accessibility, physically challenged, education

Procedia PDF Downloads 32
13 Smart Wheel Chair: A Design to Accommodate Vital Sign Monitoring

Authors: Stephanie Nihan, Jayson M. Fadrigalan, Pyay P. San, Steven M. Santos, Weihui Li


People of all ages who use wheelchairs are left with the inconvenience of not having an easy way to take their vital signs. Typically, patients are required to visit the hospital in order to take the vital signs. VitalGO is a wheel chair system that equipped with medical devices to take vital signs and then transmit data to a mobile application for convenient, long term health monitoring. The vital signs include oxygen saturation, heart rate, and blood pressure, breathing rate and body temperature. Oxygen saturation and heart rate are monitored through pulse oximeter. Blood pressure is taken through a radar sensor. Breathing rate is derived through thoracic impedance while body temperature is measured through an infrared thermometer. The application receives data through bluetooth and stores in a database for review in a simple graphical interface. The application will have the ability to display this data over various time intervals such as a day, week, month, 3 months, 6 months and a year. The final system for the mobile app can also provide an interface for both the user and their physician(s) to record notes or keep record of daily symptoms that a patient might be having. The user’s doctor will be granted access by the user to view the patient information for assistance with a more accurate diagnosis. Also, this wheelchair accessory conveniently includes a foldable table/desk as somewhere to place an electronic device that may be used to access the app. The foldable table will overall contribute to the wheelchair user’s increased comfort and will give them somewhere to place food, a book, or any other form of entertainment that would normally be hard to juggle on their lap.

Keywords: wheel chair, vital sign, mobile application, telemedicine

Procedia PDF Downloads 209
12 Description of the Process Which Determine the Criterion Validity of Semi-Structured Interview PARA-SCI.CZ

Authors: Jarmila Štěpánová, Martin Kudláček, Lukáš Jakubec


The people with spinal cord injury are one of the least sport active members of our society. Their hypoactivity is determined by primary injury, i.e., the loss of motor function, the injured part of the body is connected with health complications and social handicap. Study performs one part of the standardization process of semi-structured interview PARA-SCI.CZ (Czech version of the Physical Activity Recall Assessment for People with Spinal Cord Injury), which measures the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity of people with spinal cord injury. The study focused on persons with paraplegia who use a wheelchair as their primary mode of mobility. The aim of this study was to perform a process to determine the criterion validity of PARA-SCI.CZ. The actual physical activity of wheelchair users was monitored during three days by using accelerometers Actigraph GT3X fixed on the non-dominant wrist, and semi-structured interview PARA-SCI.CZ. During the PARA-SCI.CZ interview, participants were asked to recall activities they had done over the past 3 days, starting with the previous day. PARA-SCI.CZ captured frequency, duration, and intensity (low, moderate, and heavy) of two categories of physical activity (leisure time physical activity and activities of a usual day). Accelerometer Actigraph GT3X captured duration and intensity (low and moderate + heavy) of physical activity during three days and nights. The study presented three potential recalculations of measured data. Standardization process of PARA-SCI.CZ is essential to critically approach issues of health and active lifestyle of persons with spinal cord injury in the Czech Republic. Standardized PARA-SCI.CZ can be used in practice by physiotherapists and sports pedagogues from the field of adapted physical activities.

Keywords: physical activity, lifestyle, paraplegia, semi-structure interview, accelerometer

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11 Sporting Events among the Disabled between Excellence and Ideal in Motor Performance: Analytical Descriptive Study in Some Paralympic Sports

Authors: Guebli Abdelkader, Reguieg Madani, Belkadi Adel, Sbaa Bouabdellah


The identification of mechanical variables in the motor performance trajectory has a prominent role in improving skill performance, error-exceeding, it contributes seriously to solving some problems of learning and training. The study aims to highlight the indicators of motor performance for Paralympic athletes during the practicing sports between modelling and between excellence in motor performance, this by taking into account the distinction of athlete practicing with special behavioral skills for the Paralympic athletes. In the study, we relied on the analysis of some previous research of biomechanical performance indicators during some of the events sports (shooting activities in the Paralympic athletics, shooting skill in the wheelchair basketball). The results of the study highlight the distinction of disabled practitioners of sporting events identified in motor performance during practice, by overcoming some physics indicators in human movement, as a lower center of body weight, increase in offset distance, such resistance which requires them to redouble their efforts. However, the results of the study highlighted the strength of the correlation between biomechanical variables of motor performance and the digital level achievement similar to the other practitioners normal.

Keywords: sports, the disabled, motor performance, Paralympic

Procedia PDF Downloads 175
10 Review and Evaluation of Trending Canonical Correlation Analyses-Based Brain Computer Interface Methods

Authors: Bayar Shahab


The fast development of technology that has advanced neuroscience and human interaction with computers has enabled solutions to various problems, and issues of this new era have been found and are being found like no other time in history. Brain-computer interface so-called BCI has opened the door to several new research areas and have been able to provide solutions to critical and important issues such as supporting a paralyzed patient to interact with the outside world, controlling a robot arm, playing games in VR with the brain, driving a wheelchair or even a car and neurotechnology enabled the rehabilitation of the lost memory, etc. This review work presents state-of-the-art methods and improvements of canonical correlation analyses (CCA), which is an SSVEP-based BCI method. These are the methods used to extract EEG signal features or, to be said in a different way, the features of interest that we are looking for in the EEG analyses. Each of the methods from oldest to newest has been discussed while comparing their advantages and disadvantages. This would create a great context and help researchers to understand the most state-of-the-art methods available in this field with their pros and cons, along with their mathematical representations and usage. This work makes a vital contribution to the existing field of study. It differs from other similar recently published works by providing the following: (1) stating most of the prominent methods used in this field in a hierarchical way (2) explaining pros and cons of each method and their performance (3) presenting the gaps that exist at the end of each method that can open the understanding and doors to new research and/or improvements.

Keywords: BCI, CCA, SSVEP, EEG

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9 An Evaluation of Self-Esteem in Physically Disabled Adults Who Particapated in Sports

Authors: Ummuhan Bas Aslan, Sehmus Aslan


Objective: Physical disability includes impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Individuals with physical disabilities have lower self-esteem compared non-disabled people. Self-esteem is widely accepted as a key indicator of emotional stability and adjustment to life demands. There is very limited study to investigate the effect of sports on self-esteem in physically disabled people. The aim of the present study was to evaluate of self-esteem in physically disabled adults who participated in sports. Methods: Fifty physically disabled adults who participated in sports aged between 18 to 35 years participated in the study. Self-esteem of the participants was assessed by Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The scale is a 10-item measure of global self-esteem. The higher score on the scale indicates greater self-esteem. Scores between 15 and 25 are the normal range of and scores below 15 suggest low self-esteem. Results: Average age of participants was 25.18±6.20 years. 58% of the participants were 23 (46.0%) of the participants were wheelchair users, 8 (16.0%) were mobile with a walking aid and 19 (38.0%) were mobile without a walking aid. The length of physically disabled adults had been participating in their sports (basketball: 54%, athleticism: 32%, volleyball: 6%, cycling: 6%) was 4.94±3.86 years. The average Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale score of the participants was 21.88 ±4.34. Conclusions: Our results suggest that physically disabled adults who participated in sports have the healthy level of self-esteem. Participating in sports could have positive effects on self-esteem in that physically, disabled people. There is needed future comparative studies on this topic.

Keywords: adult, physical disability, self-esteem, sport

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8 Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots

Authors: Martin Leroux, Sylvain Brisebois


Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.

Keywords: assistive robotics, automated feeding, elderly care, trajectory design, human-robot interaction

Procedia PDF Downloads 78
7 Brain-Computer Interface Based Real-Time Control of Fixed Wing and Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Authors: Ravi Vishwanath, Saumya Kumaar, S. N. Omkar


Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a technology that is almost four decades old, and it was developed solely for the purpose of developing and enhancing the impact of neuroprosthetics. However, in the recent times, with the commercialization of non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets, the technology has seen a wide variety of applications like home automation, wheelchair control, vehicle steering, etc. One of the latest developed applications is the mind-controlled quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle. These applications, however, do not require a very high-speed response and give satisfactory results when standard classification methods like Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLPC). Issues are faced when there is a requirement for high-speed control in the case of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles where such methods are rendered unreliable due to the low speed of classification. Such an application requires the system to classify data at high speeds in order to retain the controllability of the vehicle. This paper proposes a novel method of classification which uses a combination of Common Spatial Paradigm and Linear Discriminant Analysis that provides an improved classification accuracy in real time. A non-linear SVM based classification technique has also been discussed. Further, this paper discusses the implementation of the proposed method on a fixed-wing and VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles.

Keywords: brain-computer interface, classification, machine learning, unmanned aerial vehicles

Procedia PDF Downloads 185
6 Simulating Human Behavior in (Un)Built Environments: Using an Actor Profiling Method

Authors: Hadas Sopher, Davide Schaumann, Yehuda E. Kalay


This paper addresses the shortcomings of architectural computation tools in representing human behavior in built environments, prior to construction and occupancy of those environments. Evaluating whether a design fits the needs of its future users is currently done solely post construction, or is based on the knowledge and intuition of the designer. This issue is of high importance when designing complex buildings such as hospitals, where the quality of treatment as well as patient and staff satisfaction are of major concern. Existing computational pre-occupancy human behavior evaluation methods are geared mainly to test ergonomic issues, such as wheelchair accessibility, emergency egress, etc. As such, they rely on Agent Based Modeling (ABM) techniques, which emphasize the individual user. Yet we know that most human activities are social, and involve a number of actors working together, which ABM methods cannot handle. Therefore, we present an event-based model that manages the interaction between multiple Actors, Spaces, and Activities, to describe dynamically how people use spaces. This approach requires expanding the computational representation of Actors beyond their physical description, to include psychological, social, cultural, and other parameters. The model presented in this paper includes cognitive abilities and rules that describe the response of actors to their physical and social surroundings, based on the actors’ internal status. The model has been applied in a simulation of hospital wards, and showed adaptability to a wide variety of situated behaviors and interactions.

Keywords: agent based modeling, architectural design evaluation, event modeling, human behavior simulation, spatial cognition

Procedia PDF Downloads 145
5 Disability Representation in Children’s Programs: A Critical Analysis of Nickelodeon’s Avatar

Authors: Jasmin Glock


Media plays a significant role in terms of shaping and influencing people’s perception of various themes, including disability. Although recent examples indicate progressive attitudes in society, programs across genres continue to portray disability in a negative and stereotypical way. Such a one-sided or stereotypical portrayal of disabled people can further reinforce their marginalized position by turning them into the other. The common trope of the blind or visually impaired woman, for example, marks the character as particularly vulnerable. These stereotypes are easily absorbed and left unquestioned, especially by younger audiences. As a result, the presentation of disability as problematic or painful can instill a subconscious fear of disability in viewers at a very young age. Now the question arises, how can disability be portrayed to children in a more positive way? This paper focuses on the portrayal of physical disability in children’s programming. Using disabled characters from Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra, the paper will show that the chosen animated characters have the potential to challenge and subvert disability-based bias and to contribute to the normalization of disability on screen. Analyzing blind protagonist Toph Beifong, recurring support character and wheelchair user Teo, and villain Ming Hua who has prosthetic limbs, this paper aims at highlighting that these disabled characters are far more than mere stereotyped tokens. Instead, they are crucial to the outcome of the story. They are strong and confident while still being allowed to express their insecurities in certain situations. The paper also focuses on how these characters can make disability issues relatable to disabled and non-disabled young audiences alike and how they can thereby contribute to the reduction of prejudice. Finally, they will serve as an example of what inclusive, nuanced, and even empowering disability representation in animated television series can look like.

Keywords: Children, disability, representation, television

Procedia PDF Downloads 38
4 Judging Restoration Success of Kamisaigo River Japan

Authors: Rita Lopa, Yukihiro Shimatani


The focus of this research is 880m extension development along the Kamisaigo River. The river is flowing tributary of grade 2 rivers Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. This river is a small-scale urban river and the river was formerly a straight concrete sea wall construction. The river runs through National Highway No. 3 from the confluence of Saigo River. The study covers the river basin about 326 ha with a catchment area of 20.63 ha and 4,700 m3 capacity regulating pond. The river is not wide, shallow, and has a straight alignment with active (un-vegetated) river channel sinuosity (ratio of river length to valley length) ranging between 1 and 1.3. However, the alignment of the low-flow river channel does have meandering or sinuous characteristics. Flooding is likely to occur. It has become difficult to live in the environment for organisms of the river. Hydrophilic is very low (children cannot play). There is little connection with the local community. Overall, the Kamisaigo River watershed is heavily urbanized and from a morphological, biological and habitat perspective, Kamisaigo River functions marginally not well. For river improvement and maintenance of the Kamisaigo River, the workshop was conducted in the form of planning for the proposed model is presented by the Watershed Management Laboratory. This workshop showed the relationship between citizens, City Government, and University of mutual trust has been established, that have been made landscape, environment, usage, etc.: retaining wall maintenance, hydrophilic zone, landscape zone, nature walks zone: adjacent medical facilities and adjacent to large commercial facilities. Propose of Nature walks zone with point of the design: provide slope that the wheelchair can access and walking paths to enjoy the scenery, and summary of the Kamisaigo River workshop: creating a multi-model study and creation of natural rivers.

Keywords: river restoration, river improvement, natural rivers, Saigo River

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3 Disabilities in Railways: Proposed Changes to the Design of Railway Compartments for the Inclusion of Differently Abled Persons

Authors: Bathmajaa Muralisankar


As much as railway station infrastructure designs and ticket-booking norms have been changed to facilitate use by differently abled persons, the railway train compartments themselves have not been made user-friendly for differently abled persons. Owing to safety concerns, dependency on others for their travel, and fear of isolation, differently abled people do not prefer travelling by train. Rather than including a dedicated compartment open only to the differently abled, including the latter with others in the normal compartment (with the proposed modifications discussed here) will make them feel secure and make for an enhanced travel experience for them. This approach also represents the most practical way to include a particular category of people in the mainstream society. Lowering the height of the compartment doors and providing a wider entrance with a ramp will provide easy entry for those using wheelchairs. As well, removing the first two alternate rows and the first two side seats will not only widen the passage and increase seating space but also improve wheelchair turning radius. This will help them travel without having to depend on others. Seating arrangements may be done to accommodate their family members near them instead of isolating the differently abled in a separate compartment. According to present ticket-booking regulations of the Indian Railways, three to four disabled persons may travel without their family or one to two along with their family, and the numbers may be added or reduced. To help visually challenged and hearing-impaired persons, in addition to the provision of special instruments, railings, and textured footpaths and flooring, the seat numbers above the seats may be set in metal or plastic as an outward projection so the visually impaired can touch and feel the numbers. Braille boards may be included at the entrance to the compartment along with seat numbers in the aforementioned projected manner. These seat numbers may be designed as buttons, which when pressed results in an announcement of the seat number in the applicable local language as well as English. Emergency buttons, rather than emergency chains, within the easy reach of disabled passengers will also help them.

Keywords: dependency, differently abled, inclusion, mainstream society

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2 Internet of Things in Higher Education: Implications for Students with Disabilities

Authors: Scott Hollier, Ruchi Permvattana


The purpose of this abstract is to share the findings of a recently completed disability-related Internet of Things (IoT) project undertaken at Curtin University in Australia. The project focused on identifying how IoT could support people with disabilities with their educational outcomes. To achieve this, the research consisted of an analysis of current literature and interviews conducted with students with vision, hearing, mobility and print disabilities. While the research acknowledged the ability to collect data with IoT is now a fairly common occurrence, its benefits and applicability still need to be grounded back into real-world applications. Furthermore, it is important to consider if there are sections of our society that may benefit from these developments and if those benefits are being fully realised in a rush by large companies to achieve IoT dominance for their particular product or digital ecosystem. In this context, it is important to consider a group which, to our knowledge, has had little specific mainstream focus in the IoT area –people with disabilities. For people with disabilities, the ability for every device to interact with us and with each other has the potential to yield significant benefits. In terms of engagement, the arrival of smart appliances is already offering benefits such as the ability for a person in a wheelchair to give verbal commands to an IoT-enabled washing machine if the buttons are out of reach, or for a blind person to receive a notification on a smartphone when dinner has finished cooking in an IoT-enabled microwave. With clear benefits of IoT being identified for people with disabilities, it is important to also identify what implications there are for education. With higher education being a critical pathway for many people with disabilities in finding employment, the question as to whether such technologies can support the educational outcomes of people with disabilities was what ultimately led to this research project. This research will discuss several significant findings that have emerged from the research in relation to how consumer-based IoT can be used in the classroom to support the learning needs of students with disabilities, how industrial-based IoT sensors and actuators can be used to monitor and improve the real-time learning outcomes for the delivery of lectures and student engagement, and a proposed method for students to gain more control over their learning environment. The findings shared in this presentation are likely to have significant implications for the use of IoT in the classroom through the implementation of affordable and accessible IoT solutions and will provide guidance as to how policies can be developed as the implications of both benefits and risks continue to be considered by educators.

Keywords: disability, higher education, internet of things, students

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1 Analysis of Stress and Strain in Head Based Control of Cooperative Robots through Tetraplegics

Authors: Jochen Nelles, Susanne Kohns, Julia Spies, Friederike Schmitz-Buhl, Roland Thietje, Christopher Brandl, Alexander Mertens, Christopher M. Schlick


Industrial robots as part of highly automated manufacturing are recently developed to cooperative (light-weight) robots. This offers the opportunity of using them as assistance robots and to improve the participation in professional life of disabled or handicapped people such as tetraplegics. Robots under development are located within a cooperation area together with the working person at the same workplace. This cooperation area is an area where the robot and the working person can perform tasks at the same time. Thus, working people and robots are operating in the immediate proximity. Considering the physical restrictions and the limited mobility of tetraplegics, a hands-free robot control could be an appropriate approach for a cooperative assistance robot. To meet these requirements, the research project MeRoSy (human-robot synergy) develops methods for cooperative assistance robots based on the measurement of head movements of the working person. One research objective is to improve the participation in professional life of people with disabilities and, in particular, mobility impaired persons (e.g. wheelchair users or tetraplegics), whose participation in a self-determined working life is denied. This raises the research question, how a human-robot cooperation workplace can be designed for hands-free robot control. Here, the example of a library scenario is demonstrated. In this paper, an empirical study that focuses on the impact of head movement related stress is presented. 12 test subjects with tetraplegia participated in the study. Tetraplegia also known as quadriplegia is the worst type of spinal cord injury. In the experiment, three various basic head movements were examined. Data of the head posture were collected by a motion capture system; muscle activity was measured via surface electromyography and the subjective mental stress was assessed via a mental effort questionnaire. The muscle activity was measured for the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), the upper trapezius (UT) or trapezius pars descendens, and the splenius capitis (SPL) muscle. For this purpose, six non-invasive surface electromyography sensors were mounted on the head and neck area. An analysis of variance shows differentiated muscular strains depending on the type of head movement. Systematically investigating the influence of different basic head movements on the resulting strain is an important issue to relate the research results to other scenarios. At the end of this paper, a conclusion will be drawn and an outlook of future work will be presented.

Keywords: assistance robot, human-robot interaction, motion capture, stress-strain-concept, surface electromyography, tetraplegia

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