Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 9, 2011
   Pages 1061 — 1076

Abstract —  IntellWheels: Modular development platform for intelligent wheelchairs

Rodrigo Antonio Marques Braga, PhD;1-2 Marcelo Petry, BEng;1,3 Luis Paulo Reis, PhD;1-2* António Paulo Moreira, PhD3-4

1DEI/FEUP, Department of Informatics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 2LIACC, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Laboratory of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 3INESC-P, Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 4DEEC/FEUP, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Abstract — Intelligent wheelchairs (IWs) can become an important solution to the challenge of assisting individuals who have disabilities and are thus unable to perform their daily activities using classic powered wheelchairs. This article describes the concept and design of IntellWheels, a modular platform to facilitate the development of IWs through a multiagent system paradigm. In fact, modularity is achieved not only in the software perspective, but also through a generic hardware framework that was designed to fit, in a straightforward manner, almost any commercial powered wheelchair. Experimental results demonstrate the successful integration of all modules in the platform, providing safe motion to the IW. Furthermore, the results achieved with a prototype running in autonomous mode in simulated and mixed-reality environments also demonstrate the potential of our approach. Although some future research is still necessary to fully accomplish our objectives, preliminary tests have shown that IntellWheels will effectively reduce users' limitations, offering them a much more independent life.

Key words: artificial intelligence, human-robot interfaces, independent mobility, intelligent robotics, intelligent wheelchair, mixed reality, multiagent systems, multimodal interface, service robots, simulation, voice control.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 9
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Braga RA, Petry M, Reis LP, Moreira AP. IntellWheels: Modular development platform for intelligent wheelchairs. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(9):1061-76.
ResearcherID: Luis Paulo Reis, PhD: E-9707-2011

Go to the Table of Contents of Vol. 47 No. 2

Last Reviewed or Updated  Monday, November 21, 2011 11:30 AM

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