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Comparison of Manual Wheelchair Propulsion in “Real-world” and Computer Simulated Environments Open Access


Other title
virtual environment
computer simulated environment
manual wheelchair
trunk motion
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wu, Jiajie
Supervisor and department
Dr. Ferguson-Pell, Martin (Rehabilitation Medicine)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Kawchuk, Gregory
Dr. Manns, Trish (Rehabilitation Medicine)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Rehabilitation Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Research to help prevent or alleviate the muscle fatigue and injuries prevalent among long-term manual wheelchair users is largely conducted in a laboratory environment. Through laboratory simulations it is possible to focus on a manageable set of variables among the many pertinent ones that characterize daily living; and the closer real-life conditions can be simulated, the more pertinent will be the findings. The goal of this thesis was to test manual wheelchair users’ performance on two different real-world surfaces and the transition between them, versus their simulations on a wheelchair ergometer. Two closed-loop models were used to simulate real-world surface propulsion. Surface friction and inertia were simulated through closed-loop steering of ergometer resistance. For one surface, the simulation came very close to real-world parameters, whereas for the other, a considerable deviation needed to be compensated for by calibration. The simulation models were unsuccessful for surface transitions and will need further refinement.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Hamaluik K., W.J., Ferguson-Pell M. Development of a long-term wheelchair propulsion instrumentation device for use in evaluating community ambulation parameters. in 2011 Spotlight on Research Breakfast and Symposium. 2011. Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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