Development of Handrim-Activated Power-Assist Wheelchair for Seniors and the Disabled
This paper presents a new handrim-activated power-assist wheelchair (HAPAW) for seniors and the disabled. The HAPAW has all the benefits of manual and electric wheelchairs and is being actively developed for use by the disabled and seniors, because of the global aging trend. The key technological components of a HAPAW are a sensor-embedded driving wheel mechanism for detecting user intention and a balancing algorithm for improved driving performance. In this work, a driving wheel mechanism with a simple non-contact user-intention-detection sensor composed of a magnet and Hall sensor was designed. In addition, a balancing algorithm that uses the measured torque and time difference for driving wheel control was applied. An HAPAW prototype incorporating the designed driving wheel and control algorithm was fabricated, and its performance was tested according to the electric wheelchair standards. In addition, to confirm the power-assist effect, the power-assist wheelchair energy consumption was measured separately for senior and disabled participants and compared with that for a manual wheelchair. Through performance testing and clinical testing, it was confirmed that the developed HAPAW can be successfully employed as an electric wheelchair, with improved driving performance and energy efficiency over those of a manual wheelchair.
KeywordsHandrim-activated Power-assist Torque sensor Wheelchair
power assist wheelchair
handrim- activated power assist wheelchair
carbon dioxide production
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