Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Wheelchair Simulation including parameterisation

The I-MATCH Wheelchair Simulation Software refers to a software simulation of a powered wheelchair. Accurate kinematics & dynamics models have been developed, to provide a realistic simulation of the movement of the powered wheelchair. The powered wheelchair simulation takes place in a Virtual Environment which represents a familiar home setting. Modules for supporting standard PC equipment (keyboard, mouse, standard game joystick) as input devices for the simulations have been developed. Further to the standard PC input devices, the software supports certain wheelchair control input devices, which may be connected to a PC through an interface box.

The simulation guides the user through the execution of specially designed exercises, which may assess the user's ability in different wheelchair control scenarios (plain forward/backward movement, turning, avoiding obstacles). Each exercise is set in the context of an everyday task the user may have to execute, such as for example driving to the kitchen to grab a glass of water.

The virtual environment provided in the Wheelchair Simulation was designed to be as familiar as possible with a real setting, where the user is able to:
- Safely train her / him in a virtual environment in using AT equipment with a real AT control device.
- Test different AT control devices, to select the most suitable.

Furthermore, user sessions are recorded in a database and measurements are obtained, such as the time elapsed and the number of collisions for traversing a path using the wheelchair and other relevant indicators. Reports can be automatically created, however the complete raw data remain at the disposal of the expert user, to extract any kind of useful information he/she may desire.

Moreover, the software simulation may be parameterised to realistically simulate a range of powered wheelchairs, including variants with front or rear drive, different mass, dimensions. In this way, it is possible to simulate an array of AT equipment and aid users in the training and selection process, as well as serve as many users as possible.

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