Volume 51 Number 5, 2014
Pages 761 — 774
Abstract — The ability of people with disabilities to live in their homes and communities with maximal independence often hinges, at least in part, on their ability to transfer or be transferred by an assistant. Because of limited resources and the expense of personal care, robotic transfer assistance devices will likely be in great demand. An easy-to-use system for assisting with transfers, attachable to electrical powered wheelchairs (EPWs) and readily transportable, could have a significant positive effect on the quality of life of people with disabilities. We investigated the stability of our newly developed Strong Arm, which is attached and integrated with an EPW to assist with transfers. The stability of the system was analyzed and verified by experiments applying different loads and using different system configurations. The model predicted the distributions of the system’s center of mass very well compared with the experimental results. When real transfers were conducted with 50 and 75 kg loads and an 83.25 kg dummy, the current Strong Arm could transfer all weights safely without tip-over. Our modeling accurately predicts the stability of the system and is suitable for developing better control algorithms to enhance the safety of the device.
Key words: center of mass, center of mass distribution, electrical powered wheelchair, model, robotic transfer device, safety, stability, Strong Arm, tip-over stability, transfer.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:11 AM