Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Bing Li

Committee Member

Dr. Johnell Brooks

Committee Member

Dr. Nianyi Li


Physical disability in humans is something that no one has control over. It is catastrophic for people to experience it, and sometimes hinders them from enjoying the essence of life. Though disability is something people have no control over, they do have control on how they can go forward and make life beautiful and meaningful. Wheelchairs have helped people with disabilities in mobility, allowing them to move around with the help of others or sometimes on their own. This research will focus on development of an autonomous assistive mobility robot to help the disabled using virtual prototyping tools for development and validation. The developed virtual model will also be developed in real world and validated to navigate autonomously. The virtual and real-world autonomous model developed will take a systems engineering approach. The key features of this system are mapping, localisation, and navigating towards a goal autonomously.

The virtual model is validated in different virtual environments for its functionality. The real-world model is developed similar to its virtual counterpart and is tested and validated for its functionality. The local path planner implemented is analyzed quantitatively for both the real-world and virtual models. The differences in design and development are analyzed and identified. To conclude, the research has lead to the development of a virtual and real-world model of an autonomous wheelchair that has been tested and validated in both the environments.



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