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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N023129/1
Title: An Interactive Training Platform to Improve Manual Wheelchair Skills
Principal Investigator: Gerling, Dr K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Go Kids Go University of British Columbia (UBC)
Department: School of Computer Science
Organisation: University of Lincoln
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 12 December 2016 Ends: 11 December 2017 Value (£): 83,526
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomechanics & Rehabilitation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Apr 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 13 April 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project integrates Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Vision to provide a platform for in-home interactive wheelchair skills training. In the UK, more than ten million people live with a disability, and 1.2 million people have a mobility disability that requires the use of a wheelchair on a daily basis. Limited access to wheelchair skills training across the UK with training rates below 20% among young people reduces the independence of persons with mobility impairments, not just profoundly impacting quality of life of the individual, but also leading to medical conditions that result from a lack of physical activity, increasing financial pressure on healthcare systems.

This project addresses this challenge through the development of an interactive training program to facilitate in-home wheelchair skills training. It builds on research in computer vision and human-computer interaction to provide a training platform that motivates user engagement, and assesses user performance to provide feedback on movement accuracy previously only available through occupational therapists.

To this end, the first stage of this project involves practitioners and academic experts on wheelchair skills training to identify best practices to be integrated into interactive approaches. Based on these results, the second stage of project will provide a wheelchair/body tracking system that is integrated into a sample training tool. This application will be designed to be suited for in-home use by guiding users through training exercises, and provides them with feedback on accuracy and overall performance. In the final stage, the sample training tool will be evaluated together with end-users and experts to gain insights into suitability for skills training along with perspectives on user experience, and pave the way for the development of a comprehensive interactive training application.

While the project explores manual wheelchair skills training as the primary application context, it is expected that it will make a significant contribution to technology-supported physical activity for persons with disabilities, and lead to a wider research agenda around the exploration of interactive technologies as a means of improving quality of life of marginalized groups.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk