The study of the interaction of humans with wheelchairs to improve the design

Shane Gooch, Laura Hollingsworth, A J Medland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to evaluate a wheelchair design it is necessary to look at the capabilities of the user and the chair's intended purpose. Whilst some chairs are only required to provide infrequent mobility indoors, others need to enable the user to travel great distances out doors over rough terrain. In this respect the chair should be considered in the same manner as any other 'inclusive' product (or be useable by all). There is a need to better understand the capabilities of different users and how this affects their ability to use a wheelchair for the express purpose required. A detailed experimental investigation was carried out into the wheelchair propulsion characteristics of people with paraplegia and tetraplegia. In this investigation, subjects' posture, applied forces, and their strategies in applying forces to the wheel rims were studied. Three distinct postures and corresponding techniques were observed and subsequently modelled in a constraint-modelling environment. Here rules were developed that allowed these differing postures to be applied to a manikin representation and their effect upon the wheelchair mobility evaluated. From this study the needs for these classes of individuals were identified in order to allow the wheelchairs to be evaluated. Where conflicts existed between the chair and the user, different modifications in both chair and posture were proposed and assessed. Where no simple modifications exist such a study can provide the basis for a more radical and improved design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherASME
Pages641-647
Number of pages7
Volume8
ISBN (Print)9780791849057
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - San Diego, CA, USA United States
Duration: 30 Aug 20092 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
CountryUSA United States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period30/08/092/09/09

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  • Cite this

    Gooch, S., Hollingsworth, L., & Medland, A. J. (2010). The study of the interaction of humans with wheelchairs to improve the design. In Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009 (Vol. 8, pp. 641-647). ASME.