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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of an adaptive, sensor-laden garment to assist people with severely limited mobility control assistive devices. Developed at the University of Pisa, a sensor-laden garment is printed with 52 flexible piezoresistive sensors. The sensors are made of electroactive polymers that change voltage depending on the angle at which they are stretched. A specialized statistical algorithm analyzes the signals record from each sensor to detect the specific movements that are the most reliably recorded from a specific individual. The algorithm determines the maximum number of distinguishable motions that each person can make, which in turn dictates the number of commands that person can use. The device is adapted by asking the users to move naturally allowing the algorithm to “train” the device. The device then selects specific movements that can be used to control velocity, acceleration, or direction of the wheelchair. Use of virtual-reality training assists the user with fine-tuning his or her ability to pilot the wheelchair and provides feedback on his or her performance. Researchers are currently focuses on a system to control wheelchairs, but the assistive garment could be possibly used for other types of assistive device controls (environmental controls, video gaming control system, etc.). TITLE: Driving a wheelchair with your shirt. AUTHOR: Emily Singer. JOURNAL: Technology Review. REF: http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17803&ch=biotech. PAGES: 1 with cover.
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