Virtual Reality based SIMulator (VRSim)

VRSim is a electric powered wheelchair driving simulator that incorporates the tasks of a powered mobility driving assessment tool, the Power Mobility Road Test (PMRT) within it’s virtual environment, to facilitate the administration of virtual powered mobility driving assessment and training. The long-term objective of this work is to develop a simulator that has good criterion (both concurrent and predictive) validity with a real-world driving assessment, and is reliable when used with different interfaces by clinicians having varying level of clinical experiences.

 

VRSIM had two display options, the immersive virtual reality screens and a single PC screen, both with the first-person perspective viewpoint. Participants interacted with VRSIM either using the dual rollers system or an instrumented wheelchair joystick through custom software. The different combinations between the two display options and input modalities provided four different Human Machine Interfaces.

 

The virtual environment consisted of a simulation of an indoor office space with a kitchen; a lounge area, set of hallways lined by offices, and incorporated the tasks of the PMRT. The custom software used a proportional derivative mathematical model to simulate the real-world motion of the powered wheelchair.

Roles & Responsibilites

I worked closely with Dr. Harshal Mahajan on this project and developed the virtual environment of the VRSim 2.  I was involved with the study set-up, data collection, and analysis of this project.

Relevant scientific/medical issues and future work:

This study revealed that the real world PMRT  was comparable to the Virtual and Computer based PMRT. Based on our analysis, we found that the virtual PMRT modeled in the computer based virtual environment and virtual reality environment shows high intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities for most of the virtual driving tasks.

Adding dynamic driving tasks did help increase the extent of immersion in the simulator. Although the dynamic tasks correlated well with the PMRT, because of the limitations in the development of the PMRT itself, there needed to be more tasks that we would need to be added to quantify driving ability.

We were able to establish clinical reliability in using the Power Mobility Road Test, and identified key limitations that could help better delineate driving performances in marginal and good power wheel chair drivers. In the future, this could help us develop training programs targeted to specific user needs.

Publications related to this project

Peer-reviewed manuscripts:

  1. Kamaraj DC, Dicianno BE, Mahajan H, Buhari A, Cooper RA; Inter-Rater Reliability Of The Power Mobility Road Test In The Virtual Reality Based Simulator 2. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Jul 2016. 97(7): 1078-1084. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2016.02.005
  2. Kamaraj DC, Dicianno BE, Mahajan H, Buhari A, Cooper RA; Stability and Workload of the Virtual Reality Based Simulator 2. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Jul 2016. 97(7):1085-1092.e1. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2016.01.032
  3. Mahajan HP, Dicianno BE, Cooper RA, Ding D. Assessment of wheelchair driving performance in a virtual reality-based simulator. J Spinal Cord Med. 2013;36:322–32.
  4. Mahajan HP. Development And Validation Of Simulators For Power Wheelchair Driving Evaluations [Internet]. 2012;Available from: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/12080/

Presentations:

  1. Kamaraj DC, Mahajan H, Dicianno BE, Terhorst L, Cooper R (2016, Oct). Discriminative Ability Of The Quantitative Electric Powered Wheelchair Driving Metrics In VRSIM-2. Poster presentation. ACRM 93rd Annual Conference, Progress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR), Chicago, Illinois.
  2. Kamaraj DC, Dicianno BE, Cooper R (2016, Feb). Predicting Electric Powered Wheelchair Driving Performance Based on Virtual Driving Performance. Poster presentation. Annual Meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists. Sacramento, CA.
  3. Kamaraj DC, Dicianno BE, Youk A, Mahajan H, Cooper R (2015, Oct). Work Load Between Experienced & Novice Power Wheelchair Users While Interacting With a Wheelchair Driving Simulator. Poster presentation. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Conference, Dallas, TX.
  4. Kamaraj D C, Dicianno B E, Mahajan H, Cooper R (2012, February). Workload assessment of a 3d immersive technology system to assess power wheel chair driving performance. Poster presented at the Annual meeting of the American Academy of Physiatry, Las Vegas, NV.
  5. Kamaraj D C (2012, November); Virtual Reality at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. Oral presentation at the State of science symposium at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
  6. Mahajan, HP. Nov 2012. Virtual Reality for Power Wheelchair Driving Assessment and Training. Oral presentation at the State of science symposium at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD