Biometrically modulated collaborative control for an assistive wheelchair

Cristina Urdiales, Blanca Fernandez-Espejo, Roberta Annicchiaricco, Francisco Sandoval, Carlo Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To operate a wheelchair, people with severe physical disabilities may require assistance, which can be provided by robotization. However, medical experts report that an excess of assistance may lead to loss of residual skills, so that it is important to provide just the right amount of assistance. This work proposes a collaborative control system based on weighting the robot's and the user's commands by their respective efficiency to reactively obtain an emergent controller. Thus, the better the person operates, the more control he/she gains. Tests with volunteers have proven, though, that some users may require extra assistance when they become stressed. Hence, we propose a controller that can change the amount of support taking into account supplementary biometric data. In this work, we use an off-the-shelf wearable pulse oximeter. Experiments have demonstrated that volunteers could use our wheelchair in a more efficient way due to the proposed biometric modulated collaborative control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5545448
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Biometrically modulated control
  • pulsioximeter
  • shared control
  • wheelchair navigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)


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