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ELECTRIC POWERED WHEELCHAIR DRIVING OUTDOORS: THE IDENTIFICATION OF DRIVING OBSTACLES & STRATEGIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED CONTROLLER

Salatin, Benjamin (2011) ELECTRIC POWERED WHEELCHAIR DRIVING OUTDOORS: THE IDENTIFICATION OF DRIVING OBSTACLES & STRATEGIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED CONTROLLER. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    When an electric powered wheelchair (EPW) user leaves the confines of their home and ventures into the outdoors, they are confronted with a wide variety of terrain and driving conditions. Very little research has been done in trying to understand the difficulties EPW users face when driving outdoors. The first section describes a focus group study of 31 EPW users with the objective of assessing EPW users' comfort level when driving in various outdoor conditions. Questionnaire and focus group transcripts showed that the EPW user's top concerns were slipping, getting stuck, and tipping. The driving conditions most avoided were in the general themes of soft surfaces, angled surfaces, and adverse conditions.The second section presents in detail the electronic and mechanical design of an advanced controller for an EPW. A single board computer provides the computational power and storage space needed to execute normal operations, complex safety algorithms, and extensive data logging. Sensors provide feedback on velocity and inertia. A rugged aluminum enclosure protects the electronics. The advanced controller is used to research better ways to provide safety and customization for the EPW user. The outcome of this project as a whole was to demonstrate what can be done with an EPW to enhance the mobility and safety of its occupant.


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    Details

    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.ed
    Committee MemberDing, Dandad5@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberPearlman, Jonathanjlp46@pitt.edu
    Title: ELECTRIC POWERED WHEELCHAIR DRIVING OUTDOORS: THE IDENTIFICATION OF DRIVING OBSTACLES & STRATEGIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED CONTROLLER
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: When an electric powered wheelchair (EPW) user leaves the confines of their home and ventures into the outdoors, they are confronted with a wide variety of terrain and driving conditions. Very little research has been done in trying to understand the difficulties EPW users face when driving outdoors. The first section describes a focus group study of 31 EPW users with the objective of assessing EPW users' comfort level when driving in various outdoor conditions. Questionnaire and focus group transcripts showed that the EPW user's top concerns were slipping, getting stuck, and tipping. The driving conditions most avoided were in the general themes of soft surfaces, angled surfaces, and adverse conditions.The second section presents in detail the electronic and mechanical design of an advanced controller for an EPW. A single board computer provides the computational power and storage space needed to execute normal operations, complex safety algorithms, and extensive data logging. Sensors provide feedback on velocity and inertia. A rugged aluminum enclosure protects the electronics. The advanced controller is used to research better ways to provide safety and customization for the EPW user. The outcome of this project as a whole was to demonstrate what can be done with an EPW to enhance the mobility and safety of its occupant.
    Date: 04 May 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 30 September 2010
    Approval Date: 04 May 2011
    Submission Date: 28 March 2011
    Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MS - Master of Science
    URN: etd-03282011-233924
    Uncontrolled Keywords: EPW driving education; smart controller; in-vivo coding; targeted coding
    Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:33
    Last Modified: 30 Mar 2012 14:29
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-03282011-233924/, etd-03282011-233924

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