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Volume 41 Number 3B, May/June 2004
Pages 429 — 442

Abstract - The Smart Wheelchair Component System

Richard Simpson, PhD, ATP; Edmund LoPresti, PhD; Steve Hayashi, PhD; Illah Nourbakhsh, PhD;
David Miller, PhD

University of Pittsburgh, Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA; Assistive Technology Sciences, Pittsburgh, PA; Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; University of Oklahoma and KISS Institute for Practical
Robotics, Norman, OK
Abstract — While the needs of many individuals with disabilities can be satisfied with power wheelchairs, some members of the disabled community find it difficult or impossible to operate a standard power wheelchair. To accommodate this population, several researchers have used technologies originally developed for mobile robots to create "smart wheelchairs" that reduce the physical, perceptual, and cognitive skills necessary to operate a power wheelchair. We are developing a Smart Wheelchair Component System (SWCS) that can be added to a variety of commercial power wheelchairs with minimal modification. This paper describes the design of a prototype of the SWCS, which has been evaluated on wheelchairs from four different manufacturers.
Key words: man-machine systems, rehabilitation, robotics, wheelchairs.

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