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Seating Virtual Coach: A Smart Reminder for Power Seat Function Usage

By Liu, Hsin-Yi; Cooper, Rosemary; Cooper, Rory; Smailagic, Asim; Siewiorek, Dan; Ding, Dan; Chuang, Fu-Chieh; Technology and Disability, Vol. 22, No. 1-2, pp. 53-60
Publication Date: 2010

Paper describes the development of a seating virtual coach (SVC), an intelligent system that can guide power wheelchair users in achieving clinician established goals for body positioning. The system monitors user compliance and creates reminders for doing past due activities. The SVC records sensor data on user position and usage patterns via an array of pressure, tilt, and infrared sensors. The user interaction and sensor monitor modules each run on a separate embedded PC attached to the back of the seat. User interaction is facilitated via a computer screen mounted on the wheelchair. Clinician settings, user data, and sensor data are stored in a database, and a web service component transfers data from the clinician’s computer to the chairside system. A web portal provides clinician access to frequently needed information. A user study was conducted with 9 participants who used power wheelchairs with power seat functions (PSF) and 6 clinicians experienced in prescribing PSF to determine the most appropriate user feedback modalities. Participants preferred to have cartoon animation to inform them on tasks to be performed, and a female voice was preferred. For a warning feedback, a peep was most frequently chosen. Regarding the location of vibration as a feedback, armrests were ranked highest. Most PSF user participants preferred using the driving joystick as the pointing device for the SVC.
Published by: IOS Press   (Website:

Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE)    (Web Site: )

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