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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 590780, 7 pages
Research Article

Validation of a Biofeedback System for Wheelchair Propulsion Training

1Biomechanics Laboratory, MAX Mobility, LLC, 5425 Mount View Parkway, Antioch, TN 37013, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA

Received 9 April 2011; Accepted 2 July 2011

Academic Editor: Jeffrey Jutai

Copyright © 2011 Liyun Guo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes the design and validation of the OptiPush Biofeedback System, a commercially available, instrumented wheel system that records handrim biomechanics and provides stroke-by-stroke biofeedback and targeting for 11 propulsion variables. Testing of the system revealed accurate measurement of wheel angle (0.02% error), wheel speed (0.06% error), and handrim loads. The maximum errors in static force and torque measurements were 3.80% and 2.05%, respectively. Measured forces were also found to be highly linear (0.985 < slope < 1.011) and highly correlated to the reference forces (r2 > .998). Dynamic measurements of planar forces ( 𝐹 𝑥 and 𝐹 𝑦 ) and axle torque also had low error (−0.96 N to 0.83 N for force and 0.10 Nm to 0.14 Nm for torque) and were highly correlated (r > .986) with expected force and torque values. Overall, the OptiPush Biofeedback System provides accurate measurement of wheel dynamics and handrim biomechanics and may be a useful tool for improving manual wheelchair propulsion.