The implementation and validation of a virtual environment for training powered wheelchair manoeuvres

John, Nigel W., Pop, Serban R., Day, Thomas , Ritsos, Panagiotis D. and Headleand, Chris (2017) The implementation and validation of a virtual environment for training powered wheelchair manoeuvres. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 24 (5). pp. 1867-1876. ISSN 1077-2626

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Navigating a powered wheelchair and avoiding collisions with static objects and other people is often a daunting task for new wheelchair users. It takes time and practice to become a competent driver and typically there is no special training available. We present a cost-effective virtual reality (VR) application that takes advantage of consumer level VR hardware such as the Oculus Rift head mounted display.

This paper reviews previous work that has used virtual environments technology for wheelchair simulation. We then describe the implementation of our own system and the first validation study carried out on the application using thirty three able bodied volunteers. The study results indicate that a significant improvement in driving skills can be obtained from the use of VR. We can thus improve wheelchair driving skills whilst avoiding the risks inherent to training in the real world. However, the occurrence of cybersickness is an inherent problem in this application that will need to be addressed.

Keywords:Virtual Reality, Powered Wheelchair, Training, Validation study
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:28306
Deposited On:16 Aug 2017 13:33

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