Mahendran Subramanian

PhD Student

EPSRC research scholar (PhD - III year), Toyota Discovery challenge co-awardee and active research professional with many research articles, conference proceedings and patent applications. Experienced Research Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the Biomedical engineering industry, including Nokia - Imperial Business School IP initiative. Prior to this, he worked as a Research Scientist in Nanotherics Ltd, UK - Keele University Spin-off and in the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Holds an MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering from University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Keele University, UK, another MSc in Marine Ecology and Toxicogenomics, a BSc in Microbiology from MK University, India and a Diploma in Computer Applications.

Research Brief

Existing wheelchair control interfaces, such as sip & puff or screen-based gaze-controlled cursors, are challenging for the severely disabled to navigate safely and independently as users continuously need to interact with an interface during navigation. This puts a significant cognitive load on users and prevents them from interacting with the environment in other forms during navigation. Mahendran’s research focuses on combining eye-tracking/ gaze-contingent intention decoding with computer vision context-aware algorithms and autonomous navigation drawn from self- driving vehicles to allow paralysed users to drive-by eye, simply by decoding natural gaze about where the user wants to go: A.Eye Drive. The resulting “Zero UI” driving platform should allow users to look and interact visually with at an object or destination of interest in their visual scene, and the wheelchair autonomously takes the user to the intended destination, while continuously updating the computed path for static and dynamic obstacles. This intention decoding technology empowers the end-user by promising more independence through their own agency.

Lab Publications