A Cost-Effective Virtual Environment for Simulating and Training Powered Wheelchairs Manoeuvres

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2016;220:134-41.


Control of a powered wheelchair is often not intuitive, making training of new users a challenging and sometimes hazardous task. Collisions, due to a lack of experience can result in injury for the user and other individuals. By conducting training activities in virtual reality (VR), we can potentially improve driving skills whilst avoiding the risks inherent to the real world. However, until recently VR technology has been expensive and limited the commercial feasibility of a general training solution. We describe Wheelchair-Rift, a cost effective prototype simulator that makes use of the Oculus Rift head mounted display and the Leap Motion hand tracking device. It has been assessed for face validity by a panel of experts from a local Posture and Mobility Service. Initial results augur well for our cost-effective training solution.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / economics*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / instrumentation
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • High Fidelity Simulation Training / economics*
  • High Fidelity Simulation Training / methods
  • Teaching
  • United Kingdom
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Wheelchairs / economics*