Autonomous robotic wheelchair with collision-avoidance navigation
The objective of this research is to demonstrate a robotic wheelchair moving in an unknown environment with collision-avoidance navigation. A real-time path-planning algorithm was implemented by detecting the range to obstacles and by tracking specific light sources used as beacons. Infrared sensors were used for range sensing, and light-sensitive resistors were used to track the lights. To optimize the motion trajectory, it was necessary to modify the original motor controllers of the electrical wheelchair so that it could turn in a minimum turning radius of 28.75 cm around its middle point of axle. Then, with these kinematics, the real-time path planning algorithm of the robotic wheelchair is simplified. In combination with the newly developed wireless Internet-connection capability, the robotic wheelchair will be able to navigate in an unknown environment. The experimental results presented in this thesis include the performance of the control system, the motion trajectory of the two driving wheels turning in a minimum radius, and the motion trajectory of the real-time path-planning in a real-life testing environment. These experimental results verified that the robotic wheelchair could move successfully in an unknown environment with collision-avoidance navigation.
Hsieh, Pin-Chun (2008). Autonomous robotic wheelchair with collision-avoidance navigation. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from