Volume 50 Number 3, 2013
Pages 357 — 366
Abstract — Power wheelchairs are essential for many individuals with mobility impairment. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of bimanual gliding (BG) and conventional joystick (CJ) control in an indoor environment, with application to (1) wheelchair driving performance (i.e., practice time, completion time, and driving deviation) and (2) muscle activity of the upper limbs. This study included 22 participants (11 experienced manual wheelchair users and 11 novice manual wheelchair users). Experienced wheelchair users who used the BG strategy needed less time to practice and complete the task. Muscle activity of the upper limbs was focused on the triceps brachii, with relatively less use of the wrist muscles while applying the BG strategy. In novice wheelchair users, wrist muscles were less involved when using the BG control compared with the CJ control. The findings imply that it is feasible to modify manual wheelchairs using BG and motors, which can serve as an alternative option for wheelchair users.
Key words: control interface, driving assessment, electromyography, indoor wheelchair skill tests, muscle activity, power mobility, power wheelchair, spinal cord injury, upper limb, wheelchair.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:14 PM