A Mechatronics Vision for Smart Wheelchairs

A. Kawaguchi (USA), Y. Noda, Y. Sato, Y. Kondo, and K. Terashima (Japan)


smart wheelchair, assistive technology, mechatronics ap proach, motion control, mobile robots, sensor technology


Advances in rehabilitation and assistive technologies can be seen today. Nevertheless, there still remains an area that ought to be examined more seriously from an eco nomic standpoint. We call this area a mechatronics sup port service, which lies as a support technology centered on mechanics, electronics, and computing. This paper explores key issues in the establishment of a mechatron ics service framework that hosts micro and macro control for the smooth navigation of mobile wheelchairs and sur rounding information systems. Specifically, we propose a systems architecture that facilitates terrain surveillance and intelligence gathering through laser sensor implanted in the wheelchair, for the purpose to identify unusual pat terns of movement to predict accidents. We also emphasize the importance of information technology which is a key for providing flexible transportation services for those in need of wheelchairs. The significance of this research for the longer-term goals lies in its implications for adaptation of our intelligent model into the future welfare activities. Foundations for and mechatronics specifications for micro and macro-control architecture are presented.

Important Links:

Go Back