CHAPTER 4

Intelligent Cap Interface for Wheelchair Control1

Many disabled people do not have the dexterity necessary to use a joystick or other hand interface for controlling a standard robotic wheelchair. In many cases, some of them suffer from diseases that can damage most of the nervous and muscular systems in the body but leave the brain and eye movement unimpaired. To this end, we developed an interface that enables a person to guide a robotic wheelchair by eye-gaze, using a minimal number of electrodes attached on the head of the user (Figure 4.1). The device can measure the electrooculographic potential (EOG) of the eye-gaze movement together with the electromyographic signals (EMG) from the jaw muscle motion. By coupling these simple actions, one can navigate a wheelchair solely by the eyes and the jaw, which provides an aid to mobility for people with a disability.

4.1 INTRODUCTION

Autonomous robotic wheelchairs represent an important class of autonomous mobile robots that is receiving increasing attention all over the world. This attention is due to the growing need for easier wheelchair mobility throughout a longer average life of people with a disability. Generally, the design of these powered wheelchairs follows the general principles, technologies, and methodologies of the other autonomous mobile robots. However, they must possess particular characteristics such as maneuverability, navigation, and safety that call for specialized designs.

Robotics wheelchairs require ...

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