Development of a Modified Ride-on-Car with a Modular Control System to Assess the Performance of Children with Disabilities

Date
2023
Authors
Daquioag, Kyle
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Miller, Scott
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Mechanical Engineering
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Children with mobility impairments are restricted in their ability to interact with their physical and social environment. Therefore, they cannot develop the same cognitive and social skills as their peers without mobility limitations. This is highly detrimental to the development of children who can’t afford a power wheelchair at an early age or only gain access to a power wheelchair with insurance much later in life. Modifying a commercial battery-powered ride-on-car (ROC) has emerged in popularity as a readily available, cost-effective power mobility device for children to provide motorized independence and opportunities for peer interactions. Today, many existing ROCs are customized specifically for one child’s needs, and their effectiveness is typically measured qualitatively with parental questionnaires and video analysis. This thesis introduces a modified ROC with a modular control system, which can be adapted to help a wide range of children with varying medical needs and develop their driving skills. Additionally, the thesis offers a technical description of the mechanical and electrical modifications that enable directional steering, collision avoidance, and parental wireless control. The modified ROC is also equipped with data collection capabilities to compose quantitative measurements about the child’s usage, performance, and progress in driving and motor skills. Preliminary results indicate the child’s motor control improved, showcasing the modified ROC’s potential in characterizing the motor skill development in children with disabilities.
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Mechanical engineering, Biomedical engineering, Health sciences, child, disability, mobility, modified ride-on-cars
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163 pages
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