Challenges and Technologies for Low Cost Wheelchair Simulation


The use of electric wheelchairs is inherently risky, as collisions due to lack of control can result in injury for the user, but also potentially for other pedestrians. Introducing new users to powered chairs via virtual reality (VR) provides one possible solution, as it eliminates the risks inherent to the real world during training. However, traditionally simulator technology has been too expensive to make VR a financially viable solution. Also, current simulators lack the natural interaction possible in the real world, limiting their operational value. We present the early stages of a VR, electric wheelchair simulator built using low-cost, consumer level gaming hardware. The simulator makes use use of the the Leap Motion, to provide a level of interaction with the virtual world which has not previously been demonstrated in wheelchair training simulators. Furthermore, the Occulous Rift provides an immersive experience suitable for our training application




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C. J. Headleand, T. Day, S. R. Pop, P. D. Ritsos, and N. W. John, “Challenges and Technologies for Low Cost Wheelchair Simulation,” in Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine, 2015.  doi:10.2312/vcbm.20151225


  booktitle = {Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine},
  editor = {B\"uhler, Katja and Linsen, Lars and John, Nigel W.},
  title = {Challenges and Technologies for Low Cost Wheelchair Simulation},
  author = {Headleand, Christopher J. and Day, Thomas and Pop, Serban R. and Ritsos, Panagiotis D. and John, Nigel W.},
  year = {2015},
  month = sep,
  publisher = {The Eurographics Association},
  doi = {10.2312/vcbm.20151225}