“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” This quote was rendered by a famous philosopher Hannah Moore in order to motivate the Disabled. Of the disabled people those who are physically challenged, the blind, old people and those suffering from diseases such as Osteoporosis and rheumatics face problems in their routine life mainly because of LOCOMOTION.
ASTHRA is an automated, dynamic memory mapped robotic vehicle (wheel chair) which enables the disabled to carry on their locomotion with ease and confidence. The Vehicle mainly consists of four basic components including a EMBEDDED WEB SERVER, DC MOTOR (WIPER TYPE) with driver circuit, an ULTRASONIC transmitter and receiver to detect obstacles, a Radio Frequency remote (transmitter & receiveR) and Programmable and control memory unit. The entire component can be viewed as a robotic-vehicle fitted with 2 High power and high torque Motors. These motors are placed at the hub of the vehicle’s tyre and their chief aim is to drive or render sufficient power to pull the weight of the patient to move about. The two motors are fixed on the hub of the wheels and they are placed in such a manner that they render suitable locomotion based on the desire of the user. The most important feature of ASTHRA is the embedded web SERVERS. The use of the embedded web servers is to transfer informations regarding the patient’s temperature, pulse, ECG and other important necessary features that needs to be transmitted during times of emergency. The use of the embedded systems is an added advantage for our system. In our case, a RF remote is provided as an interface between the user and the vehicle. The motors are provided with a DRIVING CIRCUIT which is connected to a PIC MICROCONTROLLER BOARD. The Microcontroller board enables DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING by utilizing the “TRAIN AND EXECUTE” method. Utilizing the ULTRASONIC OBSTACLE DETECTION circuit, the Microcontroller unit programs itself as per the dimensions of a particular house/place. The ULTRASONIC TRANSMITTER/RECEIVER driven by the COMPARATOR CIRCUIT enable enhanced Obstacle detection. Thus ASTHRA combines upon various features which render effective locomotion to the disabled.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT
‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST’ – This is what the world is all about today. Every individual is expected to excel irrespective of his/her disability. ASTHRA is a combination of the automated vehicle and the embedded systems. ASTHRA also provides a platform for the automated locomotion fro the disabled. A Disabled person is one who faces upon the challenge of being not able to perform a particular or a basic function which is rendered upon by a normal individual. Disabled persons are those who are visually impaired, Deaf, Dumb, physically challenged etc. Human life is incomplete without locomotion.
The main aim of ASTHRA is to provide an interface between the patients and their locomotion to the desired place especially in the hospitals. The added concept of the embedded web servers also makes effective communication between the hospital record system containing the details of the patients records regarding their modes of treatments Utilizing a suitable decision making device such as a MICROCONTROLLER, we render effective and AUTOMATED locomotion.
A MICROCONTROLLER can be regarded as a COMPUTER-ON a CHIP. Such a microcontroller can be utilized for DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING, wherein the microcontroller unit programs itself utilizing the “TRAIN AND EXECUTE” mode.
Hence by utilizing this Dynamic memory mapping technique we can think of building up Vehicles which can be AUTOMATED as well as ADJUSTABLE to a particular scenario/environment. This idea of building automated vehicles combined with embedded systems for the disabled would revolutionize the existing scenario of manual wheel chair movement which makes a patient to be DEPENDENT on someone to enable him carry out his locomotion.
Manual wheel chairs and stretchers are provided today for the in-patients and physically handicapped. These chairs are the special mechanical entities fitted upon with side wheels along with several holders which enable movement from one place to another. The primary disadvantage in this mechanism is the NEED TO BE DEPENDENT on others for locomotion. Also this system is MANUAL, ie it operates completely by human operation.
To sum up the project the servers and the entire locomotive unit provides transportation as well as transfer of necessary information. It should be noted that the mechanism of transferring the information regarding the status of the patient while taking him/her from the ward to the ICU or the Operation theatre automatically is extremely appreciable. The disadvantage of the traditional medical transportation facilities are:
It isn’t DYNAMIC.
There is no mechanism to detect OBSTACLES. The patient needs to be highly alert regarding the obstacles
The wheel chair cannot reach onto the patient every time.
No kind of information could be passed from the existing system.
The disadvantages proposed here are successfully overcome in our PROPOSED system.
ARCHITECTURE OF ASTHRA
The above diagram is a brief outline of the entire system. The specifications are as follows.
DCM – These are high power DC Motors which are utilized to render necessary power to carry on / support the patient’s weight. These are fitted on the hub of the robotic vehicle’s wheels and they enable to control the motion of the Vehicle. The movement of the vehicle based on the motor is enunciated below:
STATE OF THE RIGHT MOTOR
STATE OF THE LEFT MOTOR
DIRECTION OF MOTION
Table1 – Vehicle Movement table
MDC – This stands for the Motor Driving Circuit. It is connected to the MEMORY MANAGEMENT UNIT. Based on the control rendered by the Memory management unit, the MDC drives the motor which controls the movement of the vehicle’s wheels.
RF MODULE – This stands for the Radio Frequency Receiver Module which is used to summon the vehicle to a particular place. The patient is provided with an RF remote by which he can summon the chair to any place
OBST’ DRV – This stands for the Obstacle detection drivers which detect obstacles on the way. Ultrasonic Receivers and Transmitters are fitted upon the Obstacle detection device which detects Obstacles on the way. A Buzzer is also fitted to this circuit which beeps when an obstacle is encountered. This Obstacle Driving circuit is run by a COMPARATOR circuit which responds to obstacles.
MMU – The heart of the system is the Memory management Unit, which consists of a PIC MICROCONTROLLER. It enables DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING which enables the vehicle to be AUTOMATED. The MMU controls the other circuits connected. It can be regarded as the centralized system of the Vehicle.
EWS – (Embedded web server) -The central function unit to get access on an embedded system via Web browser is the Web server. This is used to send the information through the inter-network it maintains for future use.
DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING
Memory Mapping is nothing but PROGRAMMING your Microcontroller unit to perform the necessary tasks. DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING enables a microcontroller unit to program itself according to the present scenario. It uses a technique namely, “TRAIN AND EXECUTE”. This enables the device to program itself based on the situation. This is utilized to determine the end points of the room. Suppose the vehicle reaches to the wall of the room and is unable to move forward, if u hit upon the TRAIN circuit the device automatically adjusts its path and traces to the door. Now it stores the exact co-ordinate values onto its memory and traces the path correctly. This is called as DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING TECHNIQUE.
There is another schema called as STATIC MEMORY MAPPING. In this schema the microcontroller unit is programmed beforehand. The exact positions of the door, co-ordinates of the house are fixed. The vehicle automatically moves based on the patient’s wish. But if the place is changed we need to REPROGRAM the microcontroller. So in order to overcome this difficulty we normally prefer DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING.
The Switching Circuit consists of a series of Switches which enable the Vehicle to move based on the patient’s opinion. These are directly coupled to the MMU which in turn drives the motor and the entire Vehicle. When the patient enters in a particular choice, the appropriate
action is performed.
Thus when the appropriate switch is pressed upon the adequate movement to the corresponding section is enunciated. Also the main purpose of ASTHRA is the ability of transferring of information such as
Blood pulse rate
Heart beat count
The entire above are captured using robotic medical tools which contain suitable sensors detecting any change from the pre-stored values and sends them to the system which controls it. The main capability of this robotic vehicle is moving from room to the room with just the control of the rf remote. The embedded web server is utilized for the sole purpose of passing message to the internet which is maintained by itself and can be checked for future references. Also the development of softwares and the implementation of hi-fi robots will ensure that automatic causality treatment may be given to the patients without the help of trained professionals.
The RF Link mainly consists of two components.
The RF Transmitter
The RF Receiver
The RF Transmitter is made onto a Remote Control and rendered to the patient. This can be utilized to summon the vehicle to any given place.
The RF Receiver present at the Vehicle responds to the RF Transmitter remote and follows the Radio Frequency Link path to reach onto the Remote(RF Transmitter)
The signal given from the RF remote instructs the robotic vehicle to arrive at the suitable place needed. This might be a disadvantage as he range of this remote will be lesser, even though the vehicle will have station points in each room.
The overall block diagram of the automated vehicle is shown.
The remote control is in the hand of the patient and he can summon the vehicle. This remote transmits a RF signal which is received by the RF receiver in the automated Vehicle. Based on the signal received the PIC is programmed to move the wheel chair to the user. The movement of the Vehicle to the person is based on the program embedded in it. The vehicle consist of the ULTRASONIC sensor circuit which is driven by the comparator circuit ( COMP CKT ) as shown in the figure. This detects the obstacle and stops the wheel chair from getting hit. It produces a sound when there is an obstacle. Depending on the memory map in the PIC the driver H bridge IC drives the DC motor circuit. This DC motor is connected to the hub of the wheel. Using the SWITCHING CIRCUIT the MMU moves the Vehicle in the appropriate direction. The EMBEDDED WEB SERVER circuitry enables to transfer informations onto a centaralized Web page/Web server.
The above diagram shows the brief outline of the movement of the vehicle.
The most important feature of this project is the Embedded Web Servers. The need for using Web Servers is to transfer necessary information about the patients even during the process of transferring the patient from one room to other. The embedded Internet integration for remote maintenance and diagnostic as well as the so-called M2M communication is growing with a considerable speed rate. Just the remote maintenance and diagnostic of components and systems by Web browsers via the Internet, or a local Intranet has a very high weight for many development projects. Innumerous development departments people work on completely Web based configurations and services for embedded systems. The remaining days of the classic user interface made by a small LC-display with front panel and a few function keys are over. Through future evolutions in the field of the mobile Internet, Bluetooth-based PANs (Personal Area Network’s) and the rapidly growing M2M communication (M2M=Machine-to-Machine) a further innovating advance is to be expected. The central function unit to get access on an embedded system via Web browser is the Web server.
For example consider a patient being transferred from the normal ward to the ICU or the OP the ward boy or the patient’s relatives can press the RF remote. The robotic vehicle would come to that place. If the normal heart beat rate is 72 beats per min and if ASTHRA detects it to be some 45 beats per min (all these happening in the due course of motion) it may be seen that ASTHRA would inform or send information using the embedded web servers. The doctors would adapt to the situation suitably and be prepared before the patient reaches the destination.
The key advantages of the project include
DYNAMIC MEMORY MAPPING TECHNIQUE which enables the vehicle to adjust to any location
The ability to SUMMON the vehicle to any given place.
The patient can be INDEPENDENT without being DEPENDENT on others for his movement.
Efficient Obstacle detection performance due to the presence of ULTRASONIC transmitter/receiver.
Efficient communication between the web servers and the
High power Pull-up ability is established due to the presence of two High power motors.
Easy circuitry wherein the MMU acts as the Central Control unit of the vehicle.
The following are the future enhancements which we have planned,
In the present project, the origin of the vehicle, ie the place from which it has to start is predetermined. In our next venture, we would like to include upon ORIGIN FINDING ALGORITHMS which would dynamically fix upon it’s origin. So each day the vehicle can start from different unique locations. Rapid construction of the human activity observation system at low cost is necessary with respect to research into human activities and commercialization. The use of the omni directional ultrasonic sensors is also optimum. The reason for the above is as follows, the omni directional ultrasonic location sensor is useful because the number of sensors to be attached can be reduced.
We have also planned to introduced GPS to make our system far amore efficient
Also we have planned to increase the efficiency of the system by using VLSI and other mechanisms in our future endeavors.
The automated vehicle is aimed towards the welfare of the disabled. Even though various technologies have been introduces off late, a few alone are aimed towards locomotion. ASTHRA being a venture which is fully based on locomotion fulfills this requirement by rendering an efficient mechanism of locomotion for the disabled. Locomotion which is the essential function for any individual is also made available to the Disabled by the use of ASTHRA. ASTHRA goes on to the supreme level of fulfilling the dreams of the disabled thereby bring them close to the common man. Also ASTHRA eradicates the necessity for the disabled to be dependent on others, thereby making them INDEPENDENT. The complete automated feature of ASTHRA makes it possible to handle it upon any given place under any given circumstances. The dynamic memory mapping feature portrays upon its Self sufficiency and the ability to adjust itself to any given environment. The EMBEDDED WEB SERVERS concept further acts as a feather in the crown of ASTHRA. This concept enables the doctors to get fast access regarding the patients. In today’s fast and ever-changing world, the quality of services rendered is becoming highly important. ASTHRA caters to this need in a highly effective manner. Also it is 100% user friendly which can be rendered from the fact that it can be summoned to any given place. “To help others is to help God himself” is a well known saying. Hence by developing ASTHRA we feel that we can help a couple of disabled people thereby rendering a small piece of contribution to both the Society and the Country.
Being Students of Technology we strongly feel that ASTHRA would be a landmark of both Technological as well as Social excellence .If our project could help the disabled and render a peaceful life to them, then the success of our project would have been achieved.
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