Engineering students develop android-based wheelchair

The students of Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology and Management (SMVITM) have developed an android-controlled application for the movement of the wheelchair designed for the disabled.

A majority of people depend on android for almost all of their day-to-day activities. Using this technology, one can help the disabled to be independent. The project has been designed such that one can control the movement of wheelchair using an android application.

Electric-powered wheelchair, widely used by the disabled, has drawbacks as the disabled still cannot reach the wheelchair if it was placed far from them and they would still need help from somebody. The objective of the project is to create a system that helps the incapacitated to control their wheelchair movement through specific android application so as to go to their desired destination without the help of the caretaker. The application also provides the user with the ability to control the wheelchair even when sitting on it.

This project consists of two parts --- the hardware and the software. The hardware is the manual wheelchair along with the batteries and the motors. The software is the android application installed on the user’s smartphone, capable of applying users’ choice in the auto-movement process.

The wheelchair has moveable wheels, backrest and footrest—controlled using an android app through a secured bluetooth range. The application can be used by more than one person, said the students.

The android app accepts one input — the orders sent from the user via the android app, translates the order, takes a decision and transmits it to the relays connected to the motors.

There is also a provision for the user to detect any obstacles in the path. When an obstacle is present in the path the IR sensor detects this and a buzzer is heard by the user. A joystick is also provided as a backup in the wheelchair for manual movement in case the battery of the phone is low or if the android app fails. The android app facilitates the user to adjust the backrest and the footrest of the wheelchair as per the convenience of the user.

The app also allows the user to send messages to request the caretaker for food or water.

Deeksha Kini, K Medhini, Lovelia Mable D‘Souza, Nanditha Rao Kidiyoor, final-year computer science and engineering students designed this project under the guidance of Priyanka, assistant professor, Department of CSE, SMVITM.

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