A group of researchers at the University of California at Irvine, USA, found a way that is cheap, easy and fun for the children in learning to steer a wheelchair. To lower the cost and improve accessibility to training, the researchers have developed a robotic powered wheelchair system on which young children with a disability can safely develop driving skills at their own pace with minimum assistance. A Wheelchair robotics, and a line follower robot used for this training.
Children learn to drive a wheelchair, they were given the task to pursue a line follower robot which has been provided and ran to follow the line. When caught, the robot performs a dance and the chair plays a little tune. The joystick haptic assistance was found to enhance learning in both the non-disabled children trained with haptic guidance and in the child with a severe motor impairment.
Speaking about the results, Quoted from sciencedaily (13-Aug-2010) Marchal-Crespo, one of the researchers group said, “Ultimately, we envision creating a training experience that compares favorably with the fun children experience with the best amusement park rides, but that facilitates the development of driving skill.”