DETERMINING HEAD POSITION TO ASSIST ELECTRIC-POWERED WHEELCHAIR OPERATION FOR PERSONS WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Monitoring head position in persons with a traumatic brain injury may provide a means for independent powered mobility. Given the often limited residual functions of attending, visual processing, and motor control, the operation of an electric-powered wheelchair must be constantly monitored to ensure the safety of these users. Human-directed support is not always available and does not encourage independent mobility. The solution proposed for this problem is placement of a magnet on the rear of the persons head. Strategically placed linear analog Hall effect sensors that are fixed in a stationary headrest can then track the magnet; thus, accurately determining head positioning. With this proposed head tracking, a specialized interface to the electric-powered wheelchair controller can be used to ensure the persons head is attending the direction of travel asserted by a conventional, direction-sensing joystick.
Advisor:Rory A. Cooper; Donald M. Spaeth; Ronald G. Hoelzeman; J.T. Cain; Marlin H. Mickle
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:09/08/2008