WorldCIST'14 - The 2014 World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

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A Survey on Intelligent Wheelchair Prototypes and Simulators

Nowadays more than 700 million persons around the world have some kind of disability or handicap. During the last decades the elderly population in most of the European countries and across all the most civilized countries is also growing at an increasing pace. This phenomenon is receiving increasing attention from the scientific community, during the last years, and several solutions are being proposed in order to allow a more independent life to the people belonging to those groups. In this context Intelligent Wheelchairs (IW) are instruments that are a natural development of the scientific work that has been conducted to improve the traditional Wheelchair characteristics using health informatics, assistive robotics and human computer interface technologies. Some of the most important features of the IW are their navigation capabilities and automatic adaptation of their interface to the user. This paper presents the evolution and state of art concerning IWs prototypes and simulators and intelligent human-computer interfaces in the context of this devices. Our study enabled us to conclude that although several Intelligent Wheelchair prototypes are being developed in a large number of research projects, around the world, the adaptation of their user interface to the patient is an often neglected research topic. Thus, projects aiming at developing new concepts of Intelligent Wheelchairs are needed mainly using multimodal interfaces and wheelchair interfaces adapted to the user characteristics.


Luis Paulo Reis    
University of Minho

Brigida Monica Faria    

Nuno Lau    
University of Aveiro


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