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A wheelchair that moves with simple head & eye movements

May 17, 2016

Controlling a wheelchair can be hard for persons with mobility problems like cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult to move the hands correctly. Researchers from Brazil have developed an interface that enables precise movements.

The interface controls the wheelchair using simple face, head, or eye movements. Researchers built their first model using a standard motorized wheelchair that was modified using sensors and cameras. They removed the joystick used to control the chair's movements and replaced it with sensors that could detect changes in floor surface and measure the distance of objects and walls surrounding the wheelchair.

Next they designed an interface that used a 3D camera with RealSense technology. This receives input from a camera that monitors facial and body expressions. These expressions are then translated by the system into commands to control the wheelchair.

Researchers say the camera can identify more than 70 facial points around the mouth, nose and eyes. By moving these points, it is possible to get simple commands.



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