The ergonomics of a manually propelled wheelchair

This paper describes the ergonomics of a manually propelled wheelchair with the use of a designed measurement system that can dynamically sense pushrim forces and torques during manual propulsion. A manual wheelchair is equipped with a six-degree-of- freedom force transducer. LabVIEW and Matlab programs are used to cancel outside forces that are produced on the pushrim prior to analysis. The system provides real-time visual feedback of the recorded data via a computer monitor. The applied effort by a wheelchair user during propulsion is recorded to a data file for further analysis. The recorded data is synchronized with the kinematic data of the left upper torso of the wheelchair user; this is obtained through a motion capture system. The motion capture system uses Cortex 5.3 to determine the kinematics of the upper torso. The force/torque data and kinematic data are analyzed together to identify propulsion patterns generated by the wheelchair user. This project involves, force/torque measurement system designed with the use of LabVIEW that is equipped with a Data Translations acquisition board, application of a body motion video capture system with the use of Cortex 5.3, and synchronization strategy between the above two systems.