Lab Papers (GRASP)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Parikh, S.P., V. Grassi, V. Kumar adn J. Okamoto. "Usability Study of a Control Framework for an Intelligent Wheelchair." Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Barcelona, Spain. April 2005.


We describe the development and assessment of a computer controlled wheelchair called the SMARTCHAIR. A shared control framework with different levels of autonomy allows the human operator to stay in complete control of the chair at each level while ensuring her safety. The framework incorporates deliberative motion plans or controllers, reactive behaviors, and human user inputs. At every instant in time, control inputs from these three different sources are blended continuously to provide a safe trajectory to the destination, while allowing the human to maintain control and safely override the autonomous behavior. In this paper, we present usability experiments with 50 participants and demonstrate quantitatively the benefits of human-robot augmentation.


Wheelchair navigation, smart wheelchairs, user evaluations, usability studies, wheelchair control

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Engineering Commons



Date Posted: 12 October 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.