Developing a unified Arduino library for wheelchair control
To create a unified Arduino library to interface between commonly used wheelchair controllers such as PG-drives and Dynamic.
The library should seamlessly expose common functionality such as driving, controlling actuators and lights and battery management.
A unified set of library functions should allow the user access to these functions regardless of the hardware used.
A open plug-in structure should be used to allow further models of controllers to be added to the library.
High quality surplus wheelchair hardware seems to be abundantly available. This hardware is well suited for robotics experimentation and artistic use.
Furthermore the development of a easy-to-use library allows technologically minded wheelchair users to take control of their own hardware.
By developing, documenting and sharing this interface, otherwise useless hardware can be repurposed in new ways.
Active reverse engineering will be needed to achieve detailed information about the interfacing protocols of wheelchairs given that it is decidedly difficult to find low-level technical information about wheelchair hardware. This difficulty could be because the manufacturers are not willing to share this information and/or are excluding the users and caretakers from accessing set-up and adjustment features, most likely for legal and safety reasons.
VR2 discussion w. lots of links: