Predictive Forward Dynamic Simulation of Manual Wheelchair Propulsion on a Rolling Dynamometer

TitlePredictive Forward Dynamic Simulation of Manual Wheelchair Propulsion on a Rolling Dynamometer
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBrown, C., and J. McPhee
JournalASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering
KeywordsBiomechanics, Optimal Control, Predictive Simulation, Sports Engineering, Wheelchair

Research studies to understand the biomechanics of manual wheelchair propulsion often incorporate experimental data and mathematical models. This project aimed to advance this field of study by developing a two-dimensional model to generate first of its kind forward dynamic fully predictive computer simulations of a wheelchair basketball athlete on a stationary ergometer. Subject-specific parameters and torque generator functions were implemented in the model from dual x-ray absorptiometry and human dynamometer measurements. A direct collocation optimization method was used in a wheelchair propulsion model for the first time to replicate the human muscle recruitment strategy. Simulations were generated for varying time constraints and seat positions. Similar magnitudes of kinematic and kinetic data were observed between simulation and experimental data of a first push. Furthermore, seat heights inferior to the neutral position were found to produce similar joint torques to those reported in previous studies. An anterior seat placement produced the quickest push time with the least amount of shoulder torque required. The work completed in this project demonstrates that fully predictive simulations of wheelchair propulsion have the potential of varying simulation parameters to draw meaningful conclusions.

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