SLMS Academic Careers Office

Grand Challenges

30. Shared Control Wheelchair Interfaces

Supervisor Pair: Catherine Holloway and Tom Carlson
Potential Student’s Home Department: SLMS / IOMS

Powered wheelchairs play a vital role in bringing independence to people with a wide range of mobility impairments. A significant proportion of these users rely upon specialist low fidelity input devices (e.g. sip-and-puff switches), which can make it extremely challenging to drive safely and effectively. As mobility independence is a key factor when defining quality of life researchers have sought to overcome the limits of low fidelity inputs with fully automated wheelchairs. However, these remove autonomy from the user.

Shared Control Wheelchair Interfaces will develop novel wheelchair interfaces, such as eye-gaze- and brain-controlled wheelchair interfaces. These will build upon shared control techniques, which interpret the user’s intentions in context, to compensate for functional deficiencies. The development of will take place at both UCL’s PAMELA facility and the Aspire CREATe (Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology).