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Contribution to the Search of Alternative Solutions for Driving Electric Wheelchairs : the Case of Tactile Interaction

Abstract : The power wheelchair is an effective way to regain mobility for many people around the world. Unfortunately, some people with motor disabilities who also suffer from loss of muscle strength may find it difficult to use a power wheelchair. The reason is that they can experience difficulties related to the handling of a joystick, the standard wheelchair control device. This thesis aims to propose exploring an alternative to the joystick for people with neuromuscular diseases. The work of this thesis is particularly interested in tactile interaction. The hypothesis is that the tactile interaction can offer a reliable control with a level of physical effort which is tolerable by people suffering from neuromuscular diseases. In this perspective, we developed a wheelchair steering interface on smartphone. It offers many configuration possibilities allowing the customization according to the user's needs. This interface was designed in a user-centered, iterative approach. In each iteration, different people suffering from a loss of mobility were able to test the piloting interface. Their feedback feeds into improvements to the interface in the next iteration. During the last iteration as part of this thesis, a study was carried out with users suffering from neuromuscular diseases at the SSR Le Brasset, with the help of the AFM Théléton. These participants were able to take appropriate the use of the touch interface and use it to control their wheelchairs. We also compared the driving performance using the touch interface and the joystick in different daily tasks (cornering, slalom ...). The performance of these patients with the touch interface is close to that of the joystick. In addition, the comments collected suggest that the touch interface requires less physical effort than the joystick.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 12:07:08 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02940431, version 1

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Youssef Guedira. Contribution to the Search of Alternative Solutions for Driving Electric Wheelchairs : the Case of Tactile Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS452⟩. ⟨tel-02940431⟩

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