Assisting power wheelchair driving on a sidewalk: A proof of concept

Assisting power wheelchair driving on a sidewalk: A proof of concept

L. DevigneF. Pasteau N. Le Borgne M. Babel T. Carlson P. Gallien Centre MPR Saint Hélier Pole 

54 rue Saint Hélier Rennes 35000, France

Univ. Rennes, INSA, CNRS, Inria, Irisa-UMR6074, Rennes F-35000, France

Aspire Centre of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology, University. College London, UK

Corresponding Author Email:
18 September 2018
| |
31 October 2018
| | Citation



The use of a power wheelchair allows to maintain mobility by providing better access to daily activities and thus positive impact on the quality of life. However, driving a power wheelchair is a complex task, particularly within an environment consisting of negative obstacles (e.g. steps, sidewalk edges). In this context, falling accidents can occur while driving a power wheelchair on a sidewalk. Therefore, driving assistance is required to prevent from falling off a curb edge. In order to meet these expectations, we here propose a semi-autonomous shared control framework assisting the user while driving on a sidewalk. We present simulations as well as an experiment carried out with our system embedded on a standard wheelchair. In both cases, our method allows progressive velocity adaptation when approaching a curb edge resulting in the wheelchair avoiding the risk of falling. The obtained results thus provide a proof of concept of our method.


power wheelchair, driving assistance, sensor-based control, powered mobility, negative obstacles

1. Introduction
2. Curb Detection Method
3. Sensor-Based Serving Framework
4. Simulations
5. Experiment
6. Discussion
7. Conclusion

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