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Experiments of a Running Wheelchair on a Slope, Sept. 2000

Outline of Experiments

Experiments of a wheelchair were done on an experimental slope as shown in the figure to the right. The angle of the slope was changed from 0 to 7 degrees. The table size on where the wheelchair runs 5.5m x 5.5m. The slope was marked as aisles of 800mm width by sticky tape. Test drivers of the wheelchair ran in the passage with following our instructions. The drivers ran the vertical section and the crossing on the slope, and several drivers also turned on the slope.

In the experiments, driving torque and the angle of wheels were measured. Also we investigated drivers' feeling by a questionnaire.

Fig. Appearance of an Experimental Slope

Analysis of Measured Data

Driving power is calculated from the measured torque and the angle change if the wheels. The figure to the right shows an example of experimental results of relation between the angle of the slope and the driving power.

We will discuss to estimate more practical 'feeling of a burden' after comparison with the follows investigated results of the questionnaire.

Fig. Relation between Angle and Power
(Click the figure, and you can view a bigger one.)

Drivers' Feeling

It is important to discuss mental feelings of a burden, because a person operates a wheelchair. The questionnaire asked the mental feeling of the burden.

The figure to the right shows the one of the result that drivers answered questions. The question is that "Did you feel to drive with turning against your will?" Through the whole questions, drivers' feelings were affected by their experience and ability for control of the wheelchair. So, we think that further analysis and more experiments are needed for estimation of drivers' feelings to drive wheelchair on slopes and other difficult conditions such as ships in wave motions.

Q: Did you feel to drive with turning against your will?
(High value is stronger feeling.)
(Click the figure, and you can view a bigger one.)


In this site, an example as results of the experiments was introduced. It is important that passengers have pleasures with staying in a ship. In this research, we would like to get much technical data for safety and comfortableness of a runing wheelchair.

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