Mechatronic Design of a Low-Cost Smart Wheelchair Controlled by Joystick and Voice Commands

David Bobadilla-Rendón, Irvine J. Monroy-Rueda de León, Gabriel Salazar-Salinas, Antonio Stefan-Lepe De Soto, Hiram Ponce, Ernesto Moya-Albor, Jorge Brieva


Elderly people have increased at an accelerated rate in recent years. In Mexico, one of the main problems affecting this population are related to disabilities, specifically limited mobility, i.e., arthritis in older adults. Different technological solutions have been proposed, such as electrical wheelchairs. However, for arthritic people, these wheelchairs are difficult to operate, lacking comfortability, and might be very expensive. In this work, we propose the development of a smart wheelchair for arthritic older adults able to move automatically and controlled by using slight manual movements of the hand and by voice commands. We followed the general methodology of a mechatronic design. A proof-of-concept model of the wheelchair was implemented. For validation, we tested the prototype in different real indoor scenarios. Results conclude that our proposed smart wheelchair complies with the user requirements, it is easy to operate, and the cost is reduced considerably. We anticipate this is a low-cost efficient smart wheelchair prototype that can be further considered for real technological solutions.


Mechatronics, engineering, smart wheelchair, product design, automation, inclusive health

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