Development of an Instrumented Wheel for Manual Wheelchair Propulsion AssessmentBy Cramer, Andrew; Connelly, Jacob; Labiak, John; Richter, W. Mark; King, Paul; NSF 2008 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons With Disabilities, pp. 288-289
Publication Date: 2011
Description of an instrumented tool to assess manual wheelchair users’ (MWUs) propulsion technique. The instrumented wheel serves as a means to quantitatively compare various wheelchairs and seating configurations to optimize the degree of comfort and propulsive capabilities of MWUs. Strain gauges were placed on the top and bottom of each of 3 push rim tabs that couple the wheel to the push rim. The strain gauges were then wired into a Wheatstone bridge circuit. When force is applied to the push rim, the strain gauges go into tension or compression based on their position in relation to the location of the applied force. This results in changes in resistance of the strain gauges, which are reflected in changes in the two voltage outputs from the Wheatstone bridge. These changes in the output voltages are then amplified through an instrumentation amplifier. The Wheatstone bridge circuits and instrumentation amplifiers for the tabs are contained on a single printed circuit board. The amplified output voltages corresponding to the push rim tabs are subsequently sent, via a data acquisition unit with Bluetooth capabilities, to a local computer to be recorded, processed, and analyzed using the LabVIEW graphical programming environment. A standard curve was created relating resultant force to output voltage. The instrumented wheel prototype was developed by biomedical engineering students at Vanderbilt University at a project cost of 1,850 dollars.
Published by: Creative Learning Press, Inc. (Website:http://www.creativelearningpress.com)
Link to text: http://nsf-pad.bme.uconn.edu/2008/Chapter%2015,%20Vanderbilt%20University.pdf
ISBN: ISBN 1-931280-15-0