Improvement of a Joystick Controller for Electric Wheelchair User


The electric wheelchair is an effective machine for people with lower limb disability. The user controls the wheelchair by a joystick that helps the user to navigate the wheelchair along the desired path. Suppose the user on the wheelchair wants to operate the computer for his jobs or enjoyment, it is preferable for the user to be able to operate the computer without transferring from the wheelchair to a computer desk. Of course, some computer input devices are available for wheelchairs. One reasonable idea is to use the familiar joystick on the wheelchair as a computer input device. In this paper a joystick controller is proposed, which enables the user on the wheelchair to operate the computer settled on a nearby table. The proposed joystick controller can be achieved by mounting the sensor unit on the joystick without any modification of the conventional wheelchair controller. The principle of the sensing unit is to measure the inclination angle and the direction of the joystick with an acceleration and gyro sensor. Then the sensing unit sends the control data to the computer via an infrared or wireless signal. This proposal is based on a request done by the wheelchair users.

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Shibata, M. , Zhang, C. , Ishimatsu, T. , Tanaka, M. and Palomino, J. (2015) Improvement of a Joystick Controller for Electric Wheelchair User. Modern Mechanical Engineering, 5, 132-138. doi: 10.4236/mme.2015.54013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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