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

  • Author / Creator
    Wu, Jiajie
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.