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Design and Implementation of Low Cost Intelligent Wheelchair

Mohammed Faeik Ruzaij , S.Poonguzhali

Center for Medical Electronics, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering ,College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University, Chennai-600025, India ,
Abstract The wide spread prevalence of lost limbs and sensing system is of major concern in present day due to wars, accident, age and health problems. An intelligent wheelchair is developed to help these type of patients by using speech recognition system to control the movement of wheelchair in different directions by using voice commands and also the simple movement of the patient's fingers with keypad control. Automatic obstacle detection is done using an ultrasound system which helps the patient to apply a temporary brake in case any obstacle suddenly comes in the way of the wheelchair. The intelligent wheelchair is designed in such a way that it can be controlled easily with minimum effort from the patient and also provides protection from obstacle collision if any voice mistake happens. The main advantage is the low cost design which allows more number of patients to use this type of wheelchair. Keywords- Intelligent ; Obstacles detection ; Ultrasonic sensor ; Voice recognition; Wheelchair.



There are patients who have lost control of both arms and legs, as a result of higher level spinal cord injury or brain and nervous system disorder. These kinds of patients can't use the standard wheelchair which depends on the arms muscular force to move the wheelchair. At the same time, they can't use the electrically powered wheelchair which is controlled by joystick. So these types of patients still need the help of another person to move their wheelchair from one place to another. Many researchers have proposed different methods to control the wheelchair. One of the possible solutions for them is to use their voice to control the wheelchair. Voice recognition technology depends on converting a particular spoken word to an electrical signal which is further digitized in order to be processed by a computer or microcontroller [1] . Akira Murai et al.(2009) proposed a new functional voice activated wheelchair. The system used commercial electronic powered wheelchair, grammar based voice recognition system and laptop with six Peripheral Interface Controller (PIC). So the complexity and cost of this system will be high [2]. Uvais Qidwai et al. (2010), proposed the design of a speech-controlled wheelchair using a Fuzzy Inference system (FIS) under MATLAB software as speech processor. The recognition system faced difficulties in noisy environment [3].

Another method for controlling the wheelchair instead of voice is also developed, S-.Y. Cho et al. (2009), proposed an idea of building a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) to control the movement of electric wheelchairs. The aim is to explore the area of research on BCI based control to potentially develop a next generation of electric wheelchair which is able to benefit paralyzed patients. This Electroencephalograph (EEG) interfacing development controls a wheelchair through a skid steering method [4]. Zhang-fang Hu et al. (2010) , proposed a head gesture recognition approach by comparing the location of the lips with a fixed rectangular window. The head gesture commands are determined, including head up, head down, turn left, turn right, and the intelligent wheelchair movement such as turn left, turn right, forward, backward are determined correspondingly [5]. Rini Akmeliawati et al. (2011), proposed a wheelchair with a hand-glove control system for easier maneuvering by bending the fingers. Intended users control the system by wearing an instrumented glove fitted with flex or bend sensors for controlling the movement and direction of the wheelchair. Uni-directional wireless communication exists between the instrumented gloves and the controller which is sandwiched between the users seat and the wheels [6]. This method is not useful for the patient who has amputee or paralyzed arm. The presented work is innovative in the sense, it uses voice recognition control system with different language to control the movement of the wheelchair which is not available commercially. The use of obstacle detection system will stop the wheelchair if it finds any obstacle. This will provides more safety to the users. The cost effectiveness of the system makes it affordable for the patients to use. II. METHODOLOGY The block diagram shown in Fig.1 includes all the wheelchair elements, starting with the microphone which is used to pick up the voice command (sound wave) from the user and convert it to an electrical signal. The next unit is the voice recognition circuit which receives the output of the microphone, digitizes it and stores the result signal as template which indicates the users command. The core of this unit is the HM2007 voice recognition IC.

ISBN: 978-1-4673-1601-9/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE



HM6264B IC which is a 64k external static RAM used by the HM2007 IC to store the trained words that are used at the recognition phase , a 4*3 keyboard , external microphone and some other components assembled together to build a 40 isolated sound word recognition system. The voice recognition IC HM2007 is operated in speaker dependent recognition mode. In this mode, the unit responds only to the current user. If another person needs to use the same system, a new training phase must be applied. This mode reaches a high accuracy of more than 95% for voice command recognition [7]. The HM2007 IC is trained to recognize five words, Fig.2. shows HM2007 Board. Microcontroller Unit The microcontroller unit is the core of the intelligent wheelchair. It interfaces the voice recognition unit and the motor driver circuit. The main function of this unit is to receive the data from the HM2007 IC through (D0-D7) and determine the right command to be given to the driver circuit. PIC16F877A microcontroller with 33 I/O lines covers all the requisites for this wheelchair. mikroc_pro_pic_2011_v460 IDE was used to program the microcontroller [8] .
Figure 1. Block Diagram


The next block is the microcontroller circuit which receives the control signal from the voice recognition circuit and also from the obstacle detection circuit, which includes two ultrasonic sensors. The microcontroller output is connected to the motor driver circuit which includes the relays used to control the DC motors direction of rotation giving the wheelchair movement in four directions. The charger is used to charge the 12 volt battery, which is the main source of power for the wheelchair. A. HM2007 Unit The voice recognition unit consists of the HM2007 IC. It is a Large Scale Integration (LSI) circuit with analog front end, voice analyzer, voice recognition processor and functional control system embedded in a single chip Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). It also consists of

C. Obstacle Detection Unit The obstacle detection is done by two GH-311 ultrasonic sensors. The GH-311 sensor detects objects by emitting a short ultrasonic wave (40 kHz) and receiving the reflected echo. D. Motor Driver Circuit This circuit is responsible for the DC motor rotation .The circuit consists of ULN2003A IC and four relays to give all direction movements and also stop. The circuit is responsible for converting the microcontrollers output signal of 5 volt to the relay operating voltage of 12 volt. Fig. 3. shows the relays circuit .

Figure 2. HM2007 Board

Figure 3. Relays driver circuit



The circuit consist of four relays and each one has different task to perform. The upper relays are responsible for motor activation and they control the forward , left and right DC motor rotation. The lower relays are responsible for backward and stop actions. The available motor motions are: Forward: Both the motors in forward direction Reverse: Both the motors in reverse direction Left: Left motor stopped/Right motor in forward direction Right: Right motor stopped/Left motor in forward direction Stop: Both motors stop rotation E. DC Motor The wheelchair moves by two DC motors. Each one can be started with a maximum of 25kg weight. So the total weight that can be held by these two motors is 50 kg including the wheelchair component .The operating voltage and current are 12 Volts and 7 Amps respectively. F. Membrance Keypad Membrane keypad was added to the wheelchair control circuit so that, simple finger movement of the user can control the wheelchair. It requires very little effort, it is simple and more accurate than normal joystick which is used with traditional powered wheelchair. The keypad is fixed on the hand grip and the user operates it with his finger whenever needed. Liquid Crystal Display A small LCD (2*16) is used to display the command given by the user and it also shows the response of the intelligent wheelchair and gives the feedback to the user regarding the scenario such as detection of obstacle. The LCD is fixed at the hand grip above the keypad. Fig.4. shows the LCD with sample command. G.

Figure 5. Motherboard

includes the PIC16F877A, a microcontroller which is interfaced with HM2007 board , motor driver circuit , Keypad , LCD and obstacle sensor through port D (B0-B7) , port A (B0-B5) , port C (B0-B7) , port B(B0-B5) and port B(B6-B7) respectively. Port D receives the binary coded decimal (BCD) number from the voice recognition kit. Each number represents a voice command as decoded by the HM2007 IC and it lies between 1 and 40. The mismatch in voice recognition is represented by specific numbers. 55,66 and 77 which represents short word , long word and mismatch word respectively. The microcontroller is programmed to give the necessary signal to the motor driver circuit depending on the input signal from the voice recognition kit and the membrane keypad with priority give to the keypad. The ultrasonic sensors were installed at the front of the chair for detection of obstacle during forward and sideward movements. If any obstacle been at the wheelchair way the sensors output will be at high state and the wheelchair will stop automatically. Traditional passive wheelchair was modified to incorporate the mother board , batteries and the DC motor. The first modification in the chair is the addition of two metal plates designed to hold the wheel bearings and the DC motors, Fig. 6. shows the modified plate. The use of battery requires a second modification. A 50*40 cm plastic fiber base is used to carry the battery and the motherboard. The fiber is supported by two iron holders to hold the weight of the two batteries. A 24 volt motor can be used for increasing the usage time of the wheelchair. The final fixing of the wheelchair component is shown in Fig. 7. IV. RESULTS The voice recognition control system was tested in noisy as well as non-noisy environment and the system response was found to be highly accurate. In a noisy place, the user needs to increase the voice level for better performance. The system shows error message on the LCD asking the user to repeat the

Figure 4. LCD (2*16) with sample command



All the above circuits were assembled in one board which is the motherboard of the wheelchair, as shown in Fig. 5. It



cover the front area. The detection distance is one meter and the wheelchair stops after 0.4 meter. The HM2007 IC has the capability to store up to 40 sound control commands (40 memory locations). So, the wheelchair can be trained with different languages like (English /Arabic), (English/Tamil) or any wanted set. It is also possible to add voice control command to the system to control some household device when the user is using the wheelchair inside home. V. CONCLUSIONS In this paper , an intelligent wheelchair with voice control system, keypad control and ultrasound obstacle detection system is developed. The wheelchair is more effective compared to other methods of control, to help people who have lost the control of their arms .One of the limitation faced in this work is that, the maximum weight that can be held by the DC motor is 50 kg. In future applications, the system can be enhanced by adding gear box for the DC motor to increase the user weight or use other type of motors for improvement. Another future work suggested is to use PWM (Pulse Wave Modulation) of the PIC16F877A microcontroller [9] to control the speed of the DC motor by changing the duty cycle of the operating voltage. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research/Iraq , Foundation of Technical Education-Technical Institute of Babylon/Iraq and the Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR) for their unlimited support. REFERENCES
[1] Jim Baumann , ml Akira Murai, Masaharu Mizuguchi, Takeshi Saitoh, Member, IEEE, Tomoyuki Osakiand Ryosuke Konishi (2009) , Elevator Available Voice Activated Wheelchair , The 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication Toyama, Japan, Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2009. Uvais Qidwai and Fatma Ibrahim , ARABIC SPEECHCONTROLLED WHEELCHAIR: A FUZZY SCENARIO ,10th International Conference on Information Science, Signal Processing and their Applications (ISSPA 2010), PP. 153-156. S-.Y. Cho, A. P. VINOD and K.W.E. CHENG , Towards a BrainComputer Interface Based Control for Next Generation Electric Wheelchairs, 2009 3rd International Conference on Power Electronics Systems and Applications , Digital Reference: K210509123. Zhang-fang Hu1 Lin Li2. and Yuan Luo3 Yi Zhang4 Xing Wei5 , A Novel Intelligent Wheelchair Control Approach Based On Head Gesture Recognition, 2010 International Conference on Computer Application and System Modeling (ICCASM 2010), pp. V6 157-163. Rini Akmeliawati, Faez S. Ba Tis, Umar J. Wani., Design and Development of a Hand-glove controlled Wheel Chair, 2011 4th International Conference on Mechatronics (ICOM), 17-19 May 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 1-5. HM2007 Data sheet , Mikroc_pic_pro_manual_v100 , Microchip PIC16F877A Microcontroller Data sheet.

Figure 6. Bearing and motor holder plate from different angles



[4] Figure 7. Wheelchair back view

sound command if any mismatch happened and guides the user in case any obstacle is found. The keypad facility gives an additional option for controlling the wheelchair when the user does not want to use his voice as control. It was found easier than ordinary joystick since it requires lesser effort by the user. The obstacle detection system was tested and was found to be effective with wall and big obstacles only. In case of vertical slim rod, columns or obstacle, the sensitivity is low because of using two ultrasonic sensors with 15 detection angles. We can avoid this problem by adding another sensor to



[7] [8] [9]