Preliminary Analysis Of Wheelchair Driving Performance In A 2D Virtual Environment

Harshal P. Mahajan, MS; Donald M. Spaeth, ATP, PhD; Rory A. Cooper, PhD.
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh


Many times a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to someone is accompanied with compromised attention and slow reaction time. Due to this it is unsafe for these people to drive a power wheelchair for mobility. Hence a Virtual Wheelchair Driving Software (VWDS) was designed to potentially serve as a training and assessment tool for these people for driving a wheelchair using an isometric joystick. This paper presents some preliminary analysis of the wheelchair driving performance by five subjects with TBI. Results indicate that the system can be customized for the users and their virtual driving performance is close to what they may perform in real world.


This research is supported by the University of Pittsburgh Model Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems Grant H133A020502. Thanks are also due to Karl Brown, Amol Karmarkar, and Abhinav Kalamdani for their assistance in different phases of this analysis.


Harshal Mahajan.
Human Engineering Research Laboratories,
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System,
151R1, 7180 Highland Drive,
Pittsburgh, PA 15206.


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