Analysis of wheelchair propulsion and hand force pattern based on manipulation ability of the upper limb

Makoto Sasaki, Takehiro Iwami, Goro Obinata, Kazuto Miyawaki, Hiroki Miura, Yoichi Shimada, Kazuo Kiguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we analyze a user-friendliness of wheelchair propulsion by using a dynamic index of the driving force. The index explains how much margin the user can take in joint moments to his maximum ability during wheelchair propulsion, and is expressed by the dynamic manipulating force ellipsoid (DMFE). The DMFE is illustrated from the measured values of maximum generated moments at the user's upper limb joints, and is used to understand quantitatively the margin of the user's ability for wheelchair propulsion. Based on the index, we have also proposed the concept of the driving force contribution figure (DFCF) to clarify how efficient the user accomplishes the wheelchair propulsion. The DFCF expresses the direction cosine of generated force on the handrim to the tangential direction. If the DFCF takes large value along the driving force direction, it means the applied force acts efficiently for wheelchair propulsion. In order to show the effectiveness of DMFE and DFGF, we measured the driving motion of the upper limb, hand force applied to the handrim, and the individual's muscular power characteristics for eight experienced wheelchair users. From the experimental data, it is shown that the users start driving the handrim at such posture where it is difficult to generate required hand force to drive the wheelchair. It is also shown that the user are driving the wheelchair taking the load of the upper limb and the efficiency of the wheelchair propulsion into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2279-2286
Number of pages8
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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