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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 181-192

Haptic Feedback Control of a Smart Wheelchair

Mohammed-Amine Hadj-Abdelkader,1,2 Guy Bourhis,1 and Brahim Cherki2

1Laboratoire d'Automatique Humaine et de Sciences Comportementales LASC, Université Paul Verlaine, Metz, France
2Laboratoire d'Automatique de Tlemcen LAT, Université Abou Bekr Belkaïd, Tlemcen, Algeria

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The haptic feedback, which is natural in assistive devices intended for visually impaired persons, has been only recently explored for people with motor disability. The aim of this work is to study its potential, particularly for assistance in the driving of powered wheelchairs. After a review of the literature for the previous related work, we present the methodology and the implementation procedure of a haptic feedback control system on a prototype of a smart wheelchair. We will also describe the approaches utilized to determine the appropriate force feedback that will ensure a cooperative behaviour of the system, and we will detail the two haptic driving modes that were developed, namely the active and passive modes. Experiments on a real prototype were carried out to study the contribution of the method in powered wheelchair driving and to evaluate the interest of the force feedback on the control joystick of the wheelchair. They are discussed on the basis of performance measures.