Integrated control and related technology of assistive devices

Dan Ding, Rory A. Cooper, Beth Ann Kaminski, John R. Kanaly, Ana Allegretti, Eliana Chaves, Sandy Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Assistive devices are now available that allow persons with severe physical disabilities to complete tasks independently. When the user has severe physical limitations, it may be advantageous to have an integrated control system where a single control interface (e.g., joystick, head switches, voice recognition system, keypad) is used to operate two or more assistive devices (e.g., power wheelchairs, augmentative communication devices, computers, environmental control units, and other devices that are controlled electronically). The advantages of integrated control are that persons with limited motor control can access several devices with one access site without assistance, and the user does not need to learn a different operating mechanism for each device. The purpose of this review is to convey the depth and breadth of the research that has been conducted on integrated control systems, as well as to provide some insights into future directions. We reviewed research works pertaining to communication and environmental control, computer access, and wheelchair guidance systems. Information gathered in this study will help people become fully aware of the status of contemporary integrated control technology in order to increase the quality of life of people who use electronic assistive devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive device
  • Computer access
  • Environment control unit
  • Integrated control
  • Wheelchair guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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