Manual Wheelchair Simulation with iDAPT’s CEAL Simulator
The proposed MITACS project is intended to be a vital component of a manual wheelchair simulation project at Toronto Rehab’s CEAL Laboratory, which will re-create the experience of navigating the built environment with a wheelchair. Specifically, the internship will focus on the design and fabrication of a novel wheelchair interface that provides a person with force-feedback at the wheelchair’s hand-rims (for example, they will feel increased resistance when trying to navigate an uphill slope in a virtual environment). The interface will also generate real-time outputs of the user’s hand and torso positions, input torques, and centre-of-gravity position, which will then be used to continuously update the wheelchair’s position in a virtual environment that is projected on a screen in front of the user. The project will also require detailed accessibility and safety considerations, and entail a rigorous testing and evaluation phase to ensure that all functional requirements are met. Upon completion of the research undertaken, it is anticipated that CEAL researchers will gain the ability to perform studies pertinent to manual wheelchair users, and thus enhance their safety and mobility in challenging environments.