As per the census conducted in Indian, out of the 121 Cr population, 2.68 Crore people are 'disabled' which is 2.21% of the total population. In the case of total population also, 69% are from rural areas while the remaining 31% reside in urban areas. At the same time, the devices available to them are not at an affordable cost. In other words, there exists a significant need for fabricating Smart Devices for the Physically Challenged.
I and my team of students at S.A. Engineering College, Chennai have made an attempt at fabricating a Voice Controlled Wheelchair, which will enable the user (especially the physically challenged and elderly people) to control the movement of the wheelchair using voice commands. We fabricated this Voice Controlled Wheelchair at a cheaper cost, so that it can be affordable to the lower and middle income user groups. A voice controlled wheelchair makes it easy for a physically disabled person who cannot control their movements of hands or who cannot operate the wheelchair by their hands. This wheelchair is comprised of a 24 V DC motor, 12V lead acid batteries, AT Mega 328 Arduino microcontroller, and a 4 way relay. HC-05 Bluetooth module is used for connectivity with mobile phones.
This voice controlled wheelchair depends on motors for locomotion and voice recognition for commands. Voice commands are given through a user friendly mobile app downloaded from Play store. For example, when forward command is given (FORWARD), the app recognizes the command and sends appropriate information to the motor to drive the wheels of the chair in the forward direction. The voice recognition app recognizes the voice command given by the user and provides the corresponding coded data stored in the memory to the AT Mega 328 Arduino microcontroller. The AT Mega 328 Arduino microcontroller controls the drive motors and these motors in turn control the movement of the wheels of the chair accordingly.