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J Neural Eng. 2014 Oct;11(5):056018. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/11/5/056018. Epub 2014 Sep 4.

HMM based automated wheelchair navigation using EOG traces in EEG.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


This paper presents a wheelchair navigation system based on a hidden Markov model (HMM), which we developed to assist those with restricted mobility. The semi-autonomous system is equipped with obstacle/collision avoidance sensors and it takes the electrooculography (EOG) signal traces from the user as commands to maneuver the wheelchair. The EOG traces originate from eyeball and eyelid movements and they are embedded in EEG signals collected from the scalp of the user at three different locations. Features extracted from the EOG traces are used to determine whether the eyes are open or closed, and whether the eyes are gazing to the right, center, or left. These features are utilized as inputs to a few support vector machine (SVM) classifiers, whose outputs are regarded as observations to an HMM. The HMM determines the state of the system and generates commands for navigating the wheelchair accordingly. The use of simple features and the implementation of a sliding window that captures important signatures in the EOG traces result in a fast execution time and high classification rates. The wheelchair is equipped with a proximity sensor and it can move forward and backward in three directions. The asynchronous system achieved an average classification rate of 98% when tested with online data while its average execution time was less than 1 s. It was also tested in a navigation experiment where all of the participants managed to complete the tasks successfully without collisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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