JRM Vol.19 No.2 pp. 181-189
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2007.p0181


Improvement of Ride Quality of a Wheelchair When it Passes over Small Steps

Masaru Higuchi*, Tomonori Shinagawa**, Hirohiko Ito*,
Yukio Takeda*, and Koichi Sugimoto*

*Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan

**Paramount Bed Co., LTD., 2078 Shirahata, Sammu-city, Chiba 289-1306, Japan

October 24, 2006
February 14, 2007
April 20, 2007
human-wheelchair system, multibody dynamics, ride quality, whole-body vibration (WBV), contact model

Wheelchairs, although the most widely used moving welfare implements, expose users to whole-body vibration and discomfort when it passes over obstacles such as steps and Braille blocks. To increase the comfort of wheelchair users, it is necessary to improve wheelchair ride quality. In this paper, we discuss dynamic characteristics of the human-wheelchair system, a ride-quality index of a wheelchair when it passes over small steps, and suspension design improving wheelchair ride quality. To simulate the dynamic characteristics of the human-wheelchair system, a model of human-wheelchair system that included a model of contact between the wheel and the terrain is proposed, and results of simulations and experiments are compared and discussed.

Cite this article as:
Masaru Higuchi, Tomonori Shinagawa, Hirohiko Ito,
Yukio Takeda, and Koichi Sugimoto, “Improvement of Ride Quality of a Wheelchair When it Passes over Small Steps,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.19, No.2, pp. 181-189, 2007.
Data files:
  1. [1] P. D. Carmen, R. A. Cooper, S. G. Fitzgerald, M. L. Boninger, E. J. Wolf, and G. Songfeng, “Whole-Body Vibration During Manual Wheelchair Propulsion With Selected Seat Cushions and Back Supports,” IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol.11, No.3, pp. 311-322, 2003.
  2. [2] E. J. Wolf, R. A. Cooper, P. D. Carmen, M. L. Boninger, and G. Songfeng, “Using the Absorbed Power Method to Evaluate Effectiveness of Vibration Absorption of Selected Seat Cushions during Manual Wheelchair Propulsion,” Medical Engineering and Physics, Vol.26, No.9, pp. 799-806, 2004.
  3. [3] R. A. Cooper, “Wheelchair Selection and Configuration,” p. 125, Igaku-shoin, 2000.
  4. [4] R. A. Cooper, E. J. Wolf, S. G. Fitzgerald, M. L. Boninger, R. Ulerich, and W. A. Ammer, “Seat and Footrest Shocks and Vibrations in Manual Wheelchairs With and Without Suspension,” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol.84, No.1, pp. 96-102, 2003.
  5. [5] T. Iwamoto, T. Moriya, and K. Shibuya, “Improvement of Wheel Chair Step-Traveling Performance by Swing Arm Caster,” Proceedings of 22nd Annual Conference of Robotics Society of Japan, Sep. 2004.
  6. [6] D. P. VanSickle, R. A. Cooper, M. L. Boninger, and C. P. DiGiovine, “Analysis of Vibrations Induced During Wheelchair Propulsion,” Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol.38, No.4, pp. 409-421, 2001.
  7. [7] Y. Matsuoka, K. Kawai, and R. Sato, “Vibration Simulation Model of Passenger-Wheelchair System in Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle,” Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol.125, No.4, pp. 779-785, 2003.
  8. [8] R. Jacob and A. Mircea, “Modeling the Human Body/Seat System in a Vibration Environment,” Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol.125, No.2, pp. 223-231, 2003.
  9. [9] Y. Wan and J. M. Schimmels, “Optimal Seat Suspension Design Based on Minimum Simulated Subjective Response,” Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol.119, No.4, pp. 409-416, 1997.
  10. [10] K. Hashimoto, Y. Sugawara, M. Kawase, A. Ohta, C. Tanaka, T. Sawato, A. Hayashi, N. Endo, H. Lim, and A. Takanishi, “Development of Bipedal Locomotor with Parallel Mechanism –12th Report: Walking Pattern Generation Using Dynamic Model of Human–,” Proceedings of 24th Annual Conference of Robotics Society of Japan, Sep. 2006.
  11. [11] T. A. Laursen, Computational Contact and Impact Mechanics, Springer Verlag, 2002.
  12. [12] P. W. A. Zegelaar, S. Gong, and H. B. Pacejka, “Tyre Models for the Study of In-Plane Dynamics,” Vehicle System Dynamics, Vol.23, Supplement, pp. 578-590, 1993.
  13. [13] G. Gwanghum and E. N. Parviz, “An Analytical Model of Pneumatic Tyres for Vehicle Dynamic Simulations. Part 1: Pure slips,” International Journal of Vehicle Design, Vol.11, No.6, pp. 589-618, 1990.
  14. [14] K. M. Captain, A. B. Boghani, and D. N. Wormley, “Analytical Tire Models for Dynamic Vehicle Simulation,” Vehicle System Dynamics, Vol.8, No.1, pp. 1-32, 1979.
  15. [15] S. Hasegawa, N. Fujii, K. Akahane, Y. Koike, and M. Sato, “Realtime Rigid Body Simulation for haptic interactions based on contact volume of polygonal objects,” Transactions of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers, Vol.40, No.2, pp. 1-10, 2004.
  16. [16] C. W. Mousseaua and G. M. Hulbert, “An Efficient Tire Model for the Analysis of Spindle Forces Produced by a Tire Impacting Large Obstacles,” Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Vol.135, No.1-2, pp. 15-34, 1996.
  17. [17] International Standard Organization, “Evaluation of the Human Exposure to Whole-body vibration–Part 1: General Requirements,” ISO 2631-1, 1985.
  18. [18] Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, “Whole-body vibration–Part 2: General requirements for Measurement and Evaluation Method,” JIS B 7760-2, 2004.
  19. [19] H. Yonekawa, T. Maeno, and Y. Matsuoka, “Design Support Methods for Comfort in Riding of the Wheelchair Transporting Apparatus–1st Report, Vibration Simulation Model on the Human-Wheelchair System,” Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series C, Vol.67, No.656, pp. 1107-1114, 2001.
  20. [20] M. Higuchi, Y. Takeda, H. Funabashi, and T. Matsushita, “A Terrain Adaptive Strategy of a Biped Walking Machine Based on an Information of Advance/Delay of Landing Time of a Transfer Foot–2nd Report, Dynamic Characteristics of a Walking Machine with the Terrain Adaptive Mechanism,” Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series C, Vol.69, No.679, pp. 788-795, 2003.
  21. [21] M. Higuchi, Y. Takeda, and H. Funabashi, “Development of a Brake for Robotic Use–3rd Report: Effect of Manufacturing Error on Brake Application Force,” Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series C, Vol.72, No.723, pp. 3641-3648, 2006.
  22. [22] M. Higuchi, H. Funabashi, and Y. Takeda, “Development of a Brake for Robotic Use–2nd Report: Dynamic Analysis of the Wedge Mechanism Driven by a Solenoid,” Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series C, Vol.68, No.673, pp. 2736-2742, 2002.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Feb. 25, 2021