Two main objectives are proposed in this project:
Study of the parameters that improve the usability of a virtual keyboard for people in a state of locked-in syndrome.
This kind of research has been and continues to be addressed by many research groups, but most of the work continues to operate the first speller developed by Farwell and Donchin [Farw88], a large keyboard that no longer is usable for people in a state of lock-in syndrome, and even more when patients lose oculomotor control. In these cases where patients can not control the movement of his eyes it is necessary to investigate the characteristics to be met by P300 keyboards. Research will focus on studying some characteristics that could facilitate the selection of letters or symbols through potential P300 (based on selective attention).
– Study of optimal size of a virtual keyboard on situation of presence and absence of oculomotor control.
– Study of the workload when controlling the virtual keyboard.
Much of the evaluation will be done in a first step by healthy subjects, using an eye-tracker device to ensure similar conditions compared to ALS patients. In a second phase, patients evaluations will be conducted.
Study of strategies to improve control a wheelchair through two mental tasks discrimination.
The second objective is a continuation of the study conducted in the project INCADI (TEC2011-26395). The results obtained in the INCADI project have been very promising and therefore the research should continue working on the same line. Previous research finished with an application that allows users to perform five control commands (forward, turn right, turn left, backward and stop) with only two mental tasks. Following these results raises a number of needs that must be investigated to improve the usability of the system, focusing on the human factor, an aspect little considered in most research but of great importance.
– Navigation strategies optimization.
– Study of optimal mental tasks to control the wheelchair.
These objectives will involve an extensive subjects evaluation.