Abstract

This study proposes a novel integrated wheelchair-compatible support system for wheelchair users with partial or complete paralysis. This system not only provides sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit (STS) learning support for stroke and spinal cord injury patients but also enhances the independence of wheelchair users. It integrates a lower limb movement support unit with a wheelchair and supports STS movement by moving the seat up and down linearly. It also measures the ground reaction force (GRF) on both sides of the body and supports proper STS movement to allow users to improve their movements and postures. Individual experiments were conducted to evaluate the system-provided STS movement support for two patients with partial paralysis and one patient with complete paralysis. Patients with partial paralysis, both hemiplegic and quadriplegic, were able to operate the system and perform the STS movement learning with visual biofeedback. Moreover, using our system, a wheelchair user with complete paraplegia was able to perform tasks at an elevated position independently. Therefore, this system will help wheelchair users achieve the self-motor-learning of STS movement and enhance their quality of life independently.

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