Wheelchair stability has an impact on safety as well as wheelchair performance, propulsion and manoeuvrability. Wheelchair stability is affected by the addition of life-supporting heavy equipment, e.g. ventilators and oxygen cylinders, as well as the characteristics of the user e.g. limb amputations, obesity. The aim of the research described here was to develop and test a stability assessment system that would guide and support the adjustment of wheelchairs to individual needs, characteristics and lifestyles. The resulting system provides assessment of centre of gravity and wheelchair stability and calculates the wheelchair tipping angles. The system consists of a force platform that senses the weight distribution of the wheelchair and calculates the centres of the contact points of the wheels and the distances between them. The measurement data are transferred via a WiFi connection to a portable tablet computer where wheelchair stability parameters are calculated. A touchscreen GUI provides visualization of the stability results and navigation through the measurement modes. The developed new concept has been evaluated through technical laboratory-based testing to determine the validity of the data collected. Initial testing has been undertaken within the clinical setting in 3 large hospitals in the UK. Initial results suggest that Wheelsense® provides a valuable tool to support clinical judgement.
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- Wheelchair stability
- Static stability
- Centre of gravity
- Tipping angle
- ISO 7176
Stefanov, D., Avtanski, A., Shapcott, N., Magee, P., Dryer, P., Heelis, M., ... Moody, L. (2015). The development and testing of a system for wheelchair stability measurement. Medical Engineering & Physics, 37(11), 1061-1069. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2015.08.013