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Author(s): Rory A. Cooper, Ph.D.*; Alan Nakahara, M.S.**; James F. Ster III**; Rosemarie Cooper, M.P.T.*
Source: Saudi Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation, 2002;8(3), 137-142

Abstract: The low efficiency of manual wheelchairs makes them difficult or impossible for some individuals to use effectively. The purpose of this study was to develop a prototype three-speed wheelchair hub that could potentially increase wheelchair propulsion efficiency and increase mobility for people who have difficulty effectively propelling a classical manual wheelchair. The design criteria were based upon the development of a proof-of-concept prototype. Given the design criteria it was decided to pursue a planetary type gear system. We were able to identity a commercially available bicycle hub that met most of our design criteria. Therefore, we decided to modify a three-speed bicycle hub for wheelchair use. The total cost of the parts and supplies for this project were about $160. Approximately, 40 hours of machine shop time were required. Upon using the hubs, we discovered an unexpected problem that needs to be overcome in future design work. The pushrim moved about 15> with each stroke prior to engaging. This problem occurred in both the forward and reverse directions. Studies should continue to search for viable alternatives to pushrim wheelchair propulsion...

Addresses: *Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh and Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System,**School of Engineering and Computer Science, California State University at Sacramento...

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Country Code: SA