Development of a driver training simulator for use by stroke patients

O'Shannassy, Geoffrey Mark (2009) Development of a driver training simulator for use by stroke patients. [USQ Project]

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Stroke will affect around 60,000 people in 2009 with up to 40000 of those losing the ability to drive. This loss of independence and mobility can have a severe impact on
their quality of life and emotional well being.
Traditional methods of stroke rehabilitation are often therapist intensive or boring and repetitive. Robotic and semi-robotic devices for stroke rehabilitation are in their
infancy with very few devices readily available in clinics and even less available in homes. The method of driver retraining relies on the therapist taking the patient “back
on the road”, an often hair-raising and potentially dangerous task.
A fully developed force feedback steering wheel and driving simulator for stroke patients has great potential for reducing therapist contact hours and increasing the
effectiveness of driver retraining.
The project aims to design, construct and test a force feedback steering wheel that is :-
· suitable for use as a tool in the assessment and retraining of stroke patients
· simple enough for both clinical and in-home use.
· able to provide sufficient torque for passive resistance, active resistance, and active assistance
· able to record user inputs as an aid to assessment and progress of driving ability
Both the mechanical and electronic systems have been constructed. Torque is provided by a 100W 24V permanent magnet DC motor, connected to the steering shaft
by a toothed belt with a gear ratio of 8.4:1. The motor is controlled via a PIC micro embedded microcontroller running custom written software while power amplification
is handled by a 1 KW H-bridge motor control.
In general, the testing and evaluation of the device has been promising, this is especially so in the overall feel of the device and the ability to control or vary the feel.
Importantly the device has been successfully interfaced to the PC and is able to interact with a simple game environment. While some problems have been encountered a number of strategies have been devised to overcome these problems

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submission date wrongly cited on title page as October, 2008.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2010 03:54
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2010 04:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: driver training; simulator; stroke patients
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091302 Automation and Control Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400799 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics not elsewhere classified

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