Quadriplegic’s step toward mobility


‘Eye Monitored Wheelchair for Quadriplegics’, a final year project by students of Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE) has been selected for presentation at the 4th India International Science Festival (IISF) at Lucknow. NT KURIOCITY finds more


Three friends Deborah Furtado, Darlene D’Mello and Cancio Pereira worked together on their final year project ‘Eye Monitored Wheelchair for Quadriplegics’, which has been selected for presentation at the 4th edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) scheduled from  October 5 to October 8 at Lucknow. They are final year Bachelor’s of Engineering Electronics and Telecommunication (ETC) students of Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE) students.

About how they got the idea for the project, Deborah says that with paralysis, a great amount of discomfort is faced by the patient and his relatives. “The caretaker has to help the patient navigate in addition to the other tasks to be carried out. We thought of this project as an aid for quadriplegic people in their daily movement,” says Deborah. With their project, the quadriplegic can navigate his wheelchair just by using his eye movements. Hence there is a sense of independence with the accessible life.

Deborah says: “First we made a base for the hardware prototype at Cancio’s carpentry workshop.” Once the hardware was ready, they then worked with a microcontroller called Arduino used to move the wheelchair. After using Arduino they used Raspberry Pi for the image processing. “Initially it was difficult to work with it. With time we learned how to use Raspberry Pi for controlling the entire movement of the wheelchair,” adds Deborah.

Developing a project during the final year is a part of the curriculum and has to showcase the technical knowledge that students have gathered during the four years of studying engineering.

Marketing their project would mean tying up with hospitals and clinics. Deborah says: “We will spread awareness of such a wheelchair through awareness programmes. And since it’s affordable and easy to use anyone will be able to buy it. Also, we are looking forward for investors to invest in our startup.”

Earlier, the team members won the first place for the project competitions organised by DTE and recently exhibited at the science exhibition at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula.