Eye-controlled, power wheelchair performs well for ALS patients.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Muscle & nerve


BACKGROUND: Our pilot study tested the feasibility and performance of an eye-controlled power wheelchair for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.

METHODS: In this prospective pilot study, participants drove the wheelchair three times around an indoor course. We assessed the time to complete the course; starting and stopping on command; turning 90, 135, and 180 degrees; time to backup; and obstacle negotiation. Following their use of the wheelchair, subjects were given a questionnaire to assess user experience.

RESULTS: Twelve patients participated, and all were able to complete three trials without difficulty. Eight participants completed all of the individual tasks (eg, turning, stopping, etc.) without any errors. Overall performance ratings were high across all participants (4.6/5-excellent).

CONCLUSIONS: Our eye-controlled power wheelchair prototype is feasible and has a very favorable user experience. This system has the potential to improve the mobility and independence of ALS patients, and other groups with motor impairments.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)