A Narrow Passage Assistance Functions on a Mobility Scooter for Elderly People

Conference: ROBOTIK 2012 - 7th German Conference on Robotics
05/21/2012 - 05/22/2012 at Munich, Germany

Proceedings: ROBOTIK 2012

Pages: 6Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Eck, Daniel; Heim, Thomas; Hess, Robin; Schilling, Klaus (Chair for Robotic and Telematic, University of Würzburg, Germany)

This paper presents a narrow passage assistance function to support older adults with degenerated mental and physical abilities. The assistance function is implemented on a mobility scooter which already provides several assistance functions. The narrow passage algorithm is the newest assistance function on the mobility scooter and reliefs the operator from the challenging control of the mobility scooter in narrows, such as doorways, while the operator is controlling the vehicle. This is a very important aspect, because the elderly people do not want to be controlled by the vehicle, they want to control the vehicle by themselves. Therefore, the algorithm determines the prospective path of the vehicle according to the current steering angle. A Laser Range Finder (LRF) is used to detect narrows on the prospective path of the vehicle. If the vehicle can drive through the narrow, this assistance function prevents a slow down caused by the collision avoidance function. The algorithm is evaluated in several test runs using a high precision positioning system. Finally, the results of the experiments are presented and discussed.