A novel system for wheelchair stability assessment design and initial results

Dimitar Stefanov, A. Avtanski, N. Shapcott, Paul Magee, P. Dryer, Simon Fielden, M. Heelis, Jill Evans, Louise Moody

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    349 Downloads (Pure)


    Wheelchairs should provide safe and reliable functioning in various road conditions and situations, ease of propulsion, and high maneuverability. Often, wheelchairs need further modification and installation of additional equipment (ventilators, oxygen cylinders, etc) which affect their stability. Wheelchair stability is also dependent on a user's body characteristics that can result in a shifting of the centre of mass e.g. limb amputations, and obesity, etc. Adaptation of the wheelchair requires additional assessment and wheelchair tuning by highly skilled rehabilitation engineers. In this paper, we discuss the design and initial testing of a novel wheelchair stability assessment system. The developed WheelSense system consists of a force platform that senses the weight distribution of the wheelchair, the centre of the contact points, and the distances between contact points of the wheels. The measurement platform is linked via WiFi connection to a portable tablet computer where the platform's sensor signals are processed and the wheelchair stability parameters are calculated. An intuitive touchscreen GUI is used for visualization of the stability results and navigation through separate measurement modes. The mechanical platform was designed to be foldable and light-weighted and thus, to be easily transportable which gives additional advantages when the system is used outside of a clinical engineering department. The initial design is being evaluated through four prototype systems installed for clinical testing in 3 large hospitals in the UK. The initial results indicate that the developed measurement system possesses high accuracy and ease of operation
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIEEE MeMeA 2014 - IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications, Proceedings
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    ISBN (Print)978-147992920-7
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

    Bibliographical note

    The paper was given at the 9th IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications, IEEE MeMeA 2014; Lisbon; Portugal; 11 June 2014 through 12 June 2014
    © 2014 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.


    • Centre of gravity
    • ISO 7176
    • Static stability
    • Tipping angle
    • Wheelchair
    • Wheelchair stability


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