Dynamic Simulation of an Electric Stair-Climbing Wheelchair
Giuseppe Quaglia*,†, Matteo Nisi*, Walter Franco*, and Luca Bruzzone**
*Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
**University of Genoa, Via Opera Pia 15A, 16145 Genoa, Italy
In this paper, a novel stair-climbing wheelchair is proposed. This new architecture represents an improvement over previous designs, in particular with regards to stability and safety during stair-climbing operations. The proposed mechanical architecture is hybrid: two locomotion units based on a “rotating leg” system are coupled with an idle track. This structure satisfies many design requirements: small dimensions, reduced weight, and a stable and regular climbing trajectory. In particular, the focus of this study is the design of an actuation system, the choice of suitable control logics, and the dynamic analysis of the proposed solution. The behavior of the wheelchair was tested through multibody simulation. The simulation results show that the proposed device can climb a staircase in a stable and safe manner. Certain smart dynamic features of the wheelchair were also proven. In particular, the efficacy of the cooperative actuation system and the effectiveness of the proposed control logic were analyzed. In conclusion, the simulation results demonstrate the appropriate operation of the proposed device, which will be used to design a working prototype of the stair-climbing wheelchair.
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