Development of a Voice-Controlled Wheelchair for Physically Impaired Individuals

Main Article Content

Jenina R. Amoguis
Mabel A. Lingon
Edwin R. Arboleda
Airah Cahigan

Keywords

Voice-controlled wheelchair, voice recognition, quadriplegia, assistive technology, assistive devices

Abstract

Background and Objective: Traditional manual wheelchairs provide mobility to individuals with physical impairments but are poorly suited for individuals with a combination of physical and cognitive or perceptual impairments. Manual wheelchairs are more physically demanding than powered wheelchairs; however, powered wheelchairs require cognitive and physical skills that not all individuals possess. The general objective of this study is to develop a voice-controlled wheelchair that allows a disabled person to move around independently using a voice-recognition application that is interfaced with motors. The study will be beneficial for quadriplegic individuals who are paralyzed in both arms and both legs.
Material and Methods: This study aims to modify a standard wheelchair controlled by voice commands where the EasyVR 3 Voice Recognition Module, ultrasonic sensors, microcontroller, and 12V wiper motor were integrated. Based on the signal given by the motor driving circuit, the controller switches the motor accordingly. The added safety feature is the ultrasonic sensor that senses obstacles with a fall detection system and sends a signal to the microcontroller to stop the chair.
Results: Through testing and evaluation, the device’s functionality was proven to meet the desired objectives, and the limitations of the device were concluded. The motors and sensors were also found to be 100% functional. The average speed of the wheelchair is 0.2 m/s, and it can move with the user weighing up to 80 kg. The wheelchair lifts at an angle of up to 10˚. The overall acceptability of the unit, analyzed using statistical parameters like mean method and standard deviation analysis, gives a 4.53 average, 4.53 on usability, 4.07 on correctness, 4.37 on control, 4.50 on reliability, 4.33 on safety, and 4.8 on comfort, which means the unit meets the objectives.
Conclusion: Based on the evaluation results, the project met the given objectives. The system was able to move following the voice command given. The device also proved its functionality, responsiveness, usability, correctness, control, reliability, safety, and comfortability. While the current study demonstrates the feasibility of voice-controlled wheelchairs, future research should focus on improving the accuracy and robustness of voice recognition systems and the incorporation of sensory feedback mechanisms, such as haptic feedback or auditory cues.

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