Are motorized wheelchairs an effective method of locomotion in virtual environments?

Amelia Nybakke, Ramya Ramakrishnan, Victoria Interrante

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this poster, we summarize the results of a user study that investigates the relative extent to which people are able to maintain spatial awareness when exploring a virtual environment using a motorized wheelchair. We asked 24 participants to travel through a 24′ wide, circularly symmetric virtual room, searching the contents of 16 randomly positioned and oriented boxes to locate 8 hidden targets, using each of the following four locomotion methods: real walking; virtual translation with real rotation while standing and using a body-worn joystick; real driving in a motorized wheelchair; and virtual translation with real rotation while sitting in a swivel chair with a joystick mounted on one of its arms. We computed four measures of search efficiency: distance travelled, search time, number of targets revisited, and proportion of trials with no revisits. We found that participants performed significantly better, overall, with real walking than with either of the methods that involved virtual translation, while performance with the wheelchair was intermediate. These results confirm that a mobile, motorized wheelchair interface offers some advantages over stationary joystick travel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2012, VR 2012 - Proceedings
Pages75-76
Number of pages2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2012
Event19th IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, VR 2012 - Costa Mesa, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 4 2012Mar 8 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality

Other

Other19th IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, VR 2012
CountryUnited States
CityCosta Mesa, CA
Period3/4/123/8/12

Keywords

  • spatial cognition
  • virtual environments

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  • Cite this

    Nybakke, A., Ramakrishnan, R., & Interrante, V. (2012). Are motorized wheelchairs an effective method of locomotion in virtual environments? In IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2012, VR 2012 - Proceedings (pp. 75-76). [6180889] (Proceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality). https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2012.6180889