UBC Undergraduate Research

A novel application of real-time video streaming and recording to wheelchair skills training Lu, Daniel L.; Liang, Anson; Douglas, Alec


This project implements a novel application of wireless real-time video streaming technol- ogy for use in the remote training of new wheelchair users. Professional training for new wheelchair users can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of injury during wheelchair operation. However, such training is often expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to access in many areas. An alternative to one-on-one training with a therapist is to provide wheelchair users with a portable device which displays instructional videos about proper wheelchair operation technique. To this end, Dr. Ian Mitchell and Andy Kim of UBC Computer Science and Dr. William Miller and Ed Giesbrecht of UBC Occupational Sciences & Occupational Therapy have developed an application called EPICWheelS (Enhancing Participation In the Community by improving Wheelchair Skills) for tablet devices running the Android operating system. In addition to displaying instructional videos, EPICWheelS provides users with the ability to communicate with a remote wheelchair therapist through voicemail. This project explores the possibility of adding important functionality for the EPICWheelS app to allow a remote therapist to more effectively evaluate the performance of the wheelchair trainee. Our solution allows the app to wirelessly stream video from a camera mounted on a secondary Android device to a tablet running the application. This enables the user to record themselves demonstrating new skills. The video will be transmitted in real time from the camera device to the tablet over a WiFi network, and be simultaneously recorded by the tablet. The recorded video can then be uploaded to a wheelchair therapist for evaluation. Our solution achieves a satisfactory performance of 15 frames per second for videos with the standard VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) with jpeg compression per frame. The delay associated with transmitting the video from the camera device to the tablet is less than 300 ms and is acceptable for our purposes.

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