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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1251; doi:10.3390/s16081251

A Study of a Handrim-Activated Power-Assist Wheelchair Based on a Non-Contact Torque Sensor

Korea Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Engineering Center, 26, Gyeongin-ro 10beon-gil, Bupyeong-gu, Incheon 21417, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Changzhi Li, Roberto Gómez-García and José-María Muñoz-Ferreras
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Contact Sensing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7679 KB, uploaded 8 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Demand for wheelchairs is increasing with growing numbers of aged and disabled persons. Manual wheelchairs are the most commonly used assistive device for mobility because they are convenient to transport. Manual wheelchairs have several advantages but are not easy to use for the elderly or those who lack muscular strength. Therefore, handrim-activated power-assist wheelchairs (HAPAW) that can aid driving power with a motor by detecting user driving intentions through the handrim are being researched. This research will be on HAPAW that judge user driving intentions by using non-contact torque sensors. To deliver the desired motion, which is sensed from handrim rotation relative to a fixed controller, a new driving wheel mechanism is designed by applying a non-contact torque sensor, and corresponding torques are simulated. Torques are measured by a driving wheel prototype and compared with simulation results. The HAPAW prototype was developed using the wheels and a driving control algorithm that uses left and right input torques and time differences are used to check if the non-contact torque sensor can distinguish users’ driving intentions. Through this procedure, it was confirmed that the proposed sensor can be used effectively in HAPAW. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-contact torque sensor; assistive technologies; power wheelchair; handrim-activated non-contact torque sensor; assistive technologies; power wheelchair; handrim-activated
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nam, K.-T.; Jang, D.-J.; Kim, Y.C.; Heo, Y.; Hong, E.-P. A Study of a Handrim-Activated Power-Assist Wheelchair Based on a Non-Contact Torque Sensor. Sensors 2016, 16, 1251.

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