The measurement of handrim wheelchair propulsion characteristics and performance in the field is complicated due to the non-stationary nature of wheelchair driving. In contrast, the laboratory provides a constrained and standardisable environment to conduct measurements and experiments. Apart from wheelchair treadmills, dynamometers or ergometers for handrim wheelchairs are often custom-made, one-of-a-kind, expensive, and sparsely documented in the research literature. To facilitate standardised and comparable lab-based measurements in research, as well as in clinical settings and adapted sports, a new wheelchair ergometer was developed. The ergometer with instrumented dual rollers allows for the performance analysis of individuals in their personal handrim wheelchair and facilitates capacity assessment, training and skill acquisition in rehabilitation or adapted sports. The ergometer contains two servomotors, one for each rear wheel roller, that allow for the simulation of translational inertia and resistive forces as encountered during wheelchair propulsion based on force input and a simple mechanical model of wheelchair propulsion. A load cell configuration for left and right roller enables the measurement of effective user-generated torque and force on the handrim and the concomitant timing patterns. Preliminary results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-960
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • biomechanical phenomena
  • ergometry
  • exercise test
  • humans
  • torque
  • wheelchairs


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