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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Mar-Apr;43(2):257-72.

Development of a Remote Accessibility Assessment System through three-dimensional reconstruction technology.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, 5044 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


A Remote Accessibility Assessment System (RAAS) that uses three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction technology is being developed; it enables clinicians to assess the wheelchair accessibility of users' built environments from a remote location. The RAAS uses commercial software to construct 3-D virtualized environments from photographs. We developed custom screening algorithms and instruments for analyzing accessibility. Characteristics of the camera and 3-D reconstruction software chosen for the system significantly affect its overall reliability. In this study, we performed an accuracy assessment to verify that commercial hardware and software can construct accurate 3-D models by analyzing the accuracy of dimensional measurements in a virtual environment and a comparison of dimensional measurements from 3-D models created with four cameras/settings. Based on these two analyses, we were able to specify a consumer-grade digital camera and PhotoModeler (EOS Systems, Inc, Vancouver, Canada) software for this system. Finally, we performed a feasibility analysis of the system in an actual environment to evaluate its ability to assess the accessibility of a wheelchair user's typical built environment. The field test resulted in an accurate accessibility assessment and thus validated our system.

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