Purpose: Most electric wheelchairs available on the market are joystick-controlled making people with hand or arm disabilities unable to control the wheelchairs easily. This study proposes a new head-orientated wheelchair design for people with disabilities. Method. This study involves a tilt sensor module fitted onto the operator's headgear that will sense head movements used to control the wheelchair's direction and speed. This system includes: the tilt sensor module, the signal processing circuit and a main controller. Results: The average times required for completing experiments by seven volunteers using joystick-controlled and the newly developed wheelchairs were recorded. It was revealed that the difference in average operating time for the two wheelchairs were statistically insignificant (p>0.05). Conclusions: The wheelchair developed in this study, although not absolutely superior to the joystick-controlled method, should still provide a better alternative for people with disabilities unsuited to traditional input devices.
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