Stability Augmentation of a Semi-Autonomous Wheelchair

Ayık, H. Müjde
In this thesis, the dynamic modeling of a wheelchair-human system is performed, and the effects of steering action and sudden slope changes along the path on the system stability are analyzed for different road and driving conditions. For the cases where the wheelchair system is unstable three methods are proposed for stability augmentation. This study is performed to improve the stability of the wheelchair system under varying road conditions so as to increase the limit of independency for wheelchair users and enhance their life quality. Two separate mathematical models are obtained for the wheelchair driven on constant sloped and changing sloped roads. Matlab Simulink models are constructed with the obtained mathematical models and control structure. The stability of the system is analyzed by case studies and it is seen that the system is unstable in some of these cases. Three methods are used for enhancement of the stability. One is the speed reduction via joystick module during steep turns, by which the speed of the wheelchair is reduced automatically for a safe steering, but the wheelchair follows the desired course. The second method is the use of a shape filter in order to obtain a less jerky response for the speed. As a final method, the center of mass of the wheelchair-human system is shifted gently in a controlled manner to the side where the reaction force on the wheels decreases.


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Citation Formats
H. M. Ayık, “Stability Augmentation of a Semi-Autonomous Wheelchair,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2004.