Application development for using Kinect in the automatic motion of a wheelchair

Dissertation Information

  • Koulizos Michalis
  • Tzanatos Nikolaos

Dissertation Description

Mobility seems to always be a regulative factor for the quality of every person’s life. However, this capability is not granted for a decent percentage of handicapped people. A limited mobility could lead to poor quality of life and further problems. This thesis defined the users of powered wheelchairs and their mobility problems as its target area. More specific it focused on the driving system of the wheelchairs as its usage requires the full attention and general ability by the user in order to navigate the unit properly inside a static or dynamic environment.

The aim of this dissertation was to present the procedure of design an alternative driving system based on a RGB-D camera. This specific system would support a semi-automatic movement of the wheelchair thus the participation of the user would be required in order to navigate the powered wheelchair to the desirable path as long as a sensor would scan the environment. The system would obtain the control of the wheelchair when collusion would seem to be likely. An obstacle avoidance method would guide the wheelchair afterwards, back to the initial desirable path.

Due to several challenges and the lack of time in order to manage them, a limitation to the amount of the research was necessary. Thus the focus area was shifted onto and the design of a local path planner supported by the A* algorithm.