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
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.
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