Intelligent user interface to control a powered wheelchair using infrared sensors

Malik Haddad, David Sanders, Giles Tewkesbury, Martin Clifford Langner, Sarinova Simandjuntak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper presents a new system to steer a powered wheelchair using a Sharp IR sensor and a Raspberry Pi. Interviews with occupational therapists, helpers and carers at Chailey Heritage Foundation/School revealed that clicking noises generated from closing switch contact used to operate powered wheelchairs disturbed the attention and reduced the focus of young wheelchair users having cognitive or physical disability. Also switches often slipped away and became unreachable. The new system replaced lever-switches used to steer powered wheelchairs by an electronic circuit. The circuit consisted of a Sharp IR sensor, Analogue to Digital converter, relays, and a Raspberry Pi. The sharp IR sensor detected movement in its range and the Raspberry Pi interpreted the data and generated commands to steer a powered wheelchair. Two modes were used to overcome the problem of sensors slipping from position: Click to Calibrate and Auto-Calibrate. A technical User Interface was created to modify sensitivity, user and detection settings. Practical testing showed the system behaved satisfactorily. It detected users’ voluntary movements and used them to steer a powered wheelchair and overcome the problem of switches slipping from position. Clinical trials will be conducted at Chailey Heritage Foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference
Subtitle of host publicationIntelliSys 2021: Intelligent Systems and Applications
EditorsKohei Arai
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030821937
ISBN (Print)9783030821920
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
EventIntelliSys 2021 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 Sept 20213 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389


ConferenceIntelliSys 2021


  • disabled
  • wheelchair
  • infrared sensor
  • user interface
  • RCUK
  • EP/S005927/1


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