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[DPRG] My Daughters Wheelchair (fwd)

Subject: [DPRG] My Daughters Wheelchair (fwd)
From: Bob Jordan rljordan at airmail.net
Date: Mon Dec 2 20:32:01 CST 2002


Thanks for giving us the opportunity to consider applying our
hobby knowledge to a real world application.

I am not real familiar with all the details of your daughter's
disabilities. If she has any fine motor control, like breath
control, or eye movement, it might be possible  to design a
secondary interface to the Wheel chair. The basics are the
same as Kip mentioned in his Email reply. You would just
need to get a control switch arrangement that would interface
to breath control, etc.

The military has used eye movement to aim weapons and
other things. Might be you could find a surplus eye movement
system, if your luck or contacts are good.

Breath control seems would be easier.  I'm thinking of  sensitive 
micro switches with small "fan blade" type assemblies mounted 
on a flexible post that could be moved into position. Then
a bang on a fixed switch on an arm rest, etc. could turn it on or off.
When on, a micro controller, like a Basic Stamp II or some other
easily learned and programmed device could follow the hand control
and use the "breath switches" for fine control. Say just have one
breath on the left switch move you left for part of a second. A long
 and short breath on each left or right switch could be a code for
other actions. Maybe even a third switch could be used too.

You could use LED feedback to show what the controller thinks
It is supposed to be doing, so you and your daughter could uses
It or fine tune it better.

Perhaps, the key is as Kip stated. You need someone nearby
that would be willing to be involved. Are you a quick learner
or do you know of someone or some group to approach?

It is a very interesting and doable challenge. You have  a key
in that you have or are a willing participant. 

Also, in the US we have the possibility of grant or research money
for companies or advanced students to us to help progress the work.

Once you have the driver interface and micro controller working,
you could interface wall avoidance, door seeking preferences, etc.

As you have seen, our group is willing to help you with opinions as
advice via "long distance". 

If you want to peruse it as a project, I'd suggest you ID the major
pieces. Something like below. Then work out each piece one at
a time.

Major pieces:

1. Someone nearby that would be willing to be involved 
(you, a robot-a-holic, a research student & professor, etc.)
2. Interfacing with the driver, Blow switches, bang switches that "go thru the door", etc.
3. Getting the interface working and giving LED &/or LCD feedback
4. The minimum goals you want the wheelchair to do. Like fine control of step left or right switches
5. Interfacing requirements between Blow switch control and the wheel chair hand controller
6. Fine tune the minimum goals
7. Sensors on the wheels to measure distance and direction traveled
8. Tuning the min goals with the new sensor and adding functions or control
9. Sensors to detect the walls and door ways (no wall)
10. Wall avoidance & door seeking preferences and behaviors

It may seem hard, but if you start you may find it is fun and rewarding as
well as it attracts others to help.

Best regards,
Bob Jordan

-----Original Message-----
>From:	Eric Yundt [SMTP:eric at facetcorp.com]
Sent:	Sunday, December 01, 2002 5:51 PM
To:	Dallas Personal Robotics Group
Subject:	[DPRG] My Daughters Wheelchair (fwd)

Forwarded on behalf of DW...

David Warburton wrote:
> From: "David Warburton" <davew1962 at tiscali.co.uk>
> To: <info at dprg.org>
> Subject: My Daughters Wheelchair
> Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 13:56:14 -0000
> Dear Sir or Madam
> This is probably a stab in the dark, but here goes anyway.
> We have an 8 yea old daughter called Hannah who is disabled with CP and
> Epilepsy.
> She finds it very difficult to control her fine motor movement, and the
> ranges of switches available are not very helpful.
> So we were wondering if there is a product on the market which could be
> attached to her electric wheelchair that could counteract her over
> steering i.e. something that detects solid surfaces and corrects her
> steering or would move the chair away from a wall for instance or guide
> her through a doorway .
> I think it would need some sort of optical sensors linked into her drive
> system that covered all the exterior of her wheelchair.
> Regards Dave Warburton
> 3 Holden Wood Drive
> Helmshore
> Rossendale
> Lancs
> BB44RQ
> Davew1962 at tiscali.co.uk

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