A design methodology and development of a mobile telepresence robot for paraplegics
Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. It is one of the conditions that exclude many people from the real society. Due to this limitation, many people have lost their jobs, some cannot take academic activities or participate in social events. In this scenario, the telepresence concept arises as an exciting field that includes virtual reality implementations, human-system interfaces, communication technologies, and robotics. In this direction, telepresence robots permit a virtual presence of persons in places where they are physically absent, such as in companies, lessons, and social events without the need to leave their homes. However, there is a gap in methodologies that can be applied in an appropriate way for their design and prototyping, that are addressed to help people with paraplegia. This paper describes a design methodology and development of a mobile telepresence robot for paraplegics. The design methodology introduced considers the mechatronic nature of the robotic devices. It can also be applied to similar projects development. It is systematic and follows a top-down approach, subdividing the mechatronic system problems into mechanical, electronic, and computational systems issues. In the mechanical system development, the robot’s mechanical structure was developed and constructed, presenting the technical drawings of the robot’s vertical structure and base. In electronic system development, an electronic command system was designed, which includes selection of sensors, motors, and a power board. In computational system development, an interaction between the user and the robot was designed to be established via the IP addresses of their individual locations. The results have shown to be promising to fill the lack of research in this essential specific area.
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