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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. (Unpublished)

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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
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Salatin, Benjaminbas90@pitt.edubas90@pitt.edu
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.edrcooper@pitt.ed
Committee MemberDing, Dandad5@pitt.edudad5@pitt.edu
Committee MemberPearlman, Jonathanjlp46@pitt.edujlp46@pitt.edu
Date: 4 May 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 September 2010
Approval Date: 4 May 2011
Submission Date: 28 March 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: EPW driving education; smart controller; in-vivo coding; targeted coding
Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-03282011-233924/, etd-03282011-233924
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 04 May 2016 05:15
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/6629

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