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    Nod, and the wheelchair will take you anywhere

    Karnataka: In a bid to make movement easier for the disabled, a group of students has developed a prototype of wheelchair that could be manoeuvred skillfully with just the movement of the occupant's head.

    The face-guided wheelchair, developed by a group of final year diploma students of KLE Society's CIM Polytechnic has bagged the best project award at a national level competition recently, makes use of a new sensor, called gyro sensor and a micro controller.

    With the help of the sensor placed in the helmet and a micro controller placed on the wheelchair, the wheelchair can be manoeuvred as required, team leader Sharukh Shakeel
    Shaikh explained.

    "If the person sitting in the wheelchair raises his head, the wheelchair will start moving forward. If the person tilts his or her head to the right, the wheelchair will turn right.

    A tilt of his head to the left would make the wheelchair turn left", Shaikh said. "If the person bends down his head the wheelchair will stop and there will be a beep to alert the attender, Shaikh said.

    The system can be easily installed on a normal wheelchair and will cost up to Rs 10,000. Depending on the requirement, the speed could be modified, he said.

    Another significant aspect of the prototype is that it can analyse body temperature and alert the attender in case the temperature of the user rises significantly.

    The operations can be modified by changing the code in the microprocessor, Shaikh said, adding the sensor could be fixed to the hand of the person if so desired. The device can be driven by solar power as it has solar panels attached to it.

    The cost of the prototype developed by Sharukh Shakeel Shaikh, Kushal Shirur and Dinesh B G is Rs 25,000.

    Throwing light on the technical aspect, Shaikh said gyro sensor, was a three-dimensional sensor and the heart of the project was the PIC micro controller, which has an inbuilt ADC (Analog Digital Converter) and a crystal oscillator.

    An Atmega-32 micro processor had been used in the project, he said. The sensor is interfaced to the micro controller and is used to sense only X and Y axis", he said.

    The project recently bagged a cash prize of Rs 10,000 in the national level competition conducted by the Maharashtra Board of Technical Education.