Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 6, 2015
   Pages 739 — 750

Abstract — Participatory design and validation of mobility enhancement robotic wheelchair

Brandon Daveler, MS;1 Benjamin Salatin, MS;2 Garrett G. Grindle, MS;1 Jorge Candiotti, BS;1 Hongwu Wang, PhD;1 Rory A. Cooper, PhD1*

1Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, and Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA; 2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Assistive Technology, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, VA

Abstract — The design of the mobility enhancement robotic wheelchair (MEBot) was based on input from electric powered wheelchair (EPW) users regarding the conditions they encounter when driving in both indoor and outdoor environments that may affect their safety and result in them becoming immobilized, tipping over, or falling out of their wheelchair. Phase I involved conducting a participatory design study to understand the conditions and barriers EPW users found to be difficult to drive in/over. Phase II consisted of creating a computer-aided design (CAD) prototype EPW to provide indoor and outdoor mobility that addressed these conditions with advanced applications. Phase III involved demonstrating the advanced applications and gathering feedback from end users about the likelihood they would use the advanced applications. The CAD prototype incorporated advanced applications, including self-leveling, curb climbing, and traction control, that addressed the challenging conditions and barriers discussed with EPW users (n = 31) during the participatory design study. Feedback on the CAD design and applications in phase III from end users (n = 12) showed a majority would use self-leveling (83%), traction control (83%), and curb climbing (75%). The overall design of MEBot received positive feedback from EPW users. However, these opinions will need to be reevaluated through user trials as the design advances.

Key words: barriers, design, electric powered wheelchair, mobility, mobility enhancement, movement, robotics, traction control, transportation, wheelchair.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.6

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Daveler B, Salatin B, Grindle GG, Candiotti J, Wang H, Cooper RA. Participatory design and validation of mobility enhancement robotic wheelchair. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(6):739–50.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.11.0278
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