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Influence of a Hybrid Manual–Electric Wheelchair Propulsion System on the User’s Muscular Effort


[ 1 ] Instytut Konstrukcji Maszyn, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.9] Mechanical engineering

Year of publication


Published in

Acta Mechanica et Automatica

Journal year: 2023 | Journal volume: vol. 17 | Journal number: no. 1

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • assistive technology
  • wheelchair
  • electromyogram (EMG)
  • electric propulsion
  • control

EN Self-propelled wheelchairs favour the rehabilitation process, forcing the user to be physically active. Unfortunately, in most cases, the manual propulsion is not adapted to the individual needs and physical capabilities of the user. This paper presents the results of operational tests of a wheelchair equipped with a hybrid propulsion system in which the muscle strength generated by the user is assisted by two independent electric motors. The research aimed to investigate the influence of the applied control algorithm and the assistance factor (W) on the value of the muscular effort (MA) while propelling the wheelchair with the use of push rims. A modified ARmedical AR-405 wheelchair equipped with two MagicPie 5 electric motors built into the wheelchair’s hubs with a power of 500 W was used in this research. The tests were carried out on a wheelchair test bench simulating the moment of resistance within the range of 8–11 Nm. Surface electromyography was employed for the measurement of MA, specifically, a four-channel Noraxon Mini DTS apparatus. The research was carried out on five patients from the group of C50 anthropometric dimensions. The effort was measured for four muscles: deltoid–anterior part, deltoid–posteriori part, and triceps brachii and extensor carpi radialis longus. The effectiveness of the hybrid propulsion system was observed based on the extensor carpi radialis longus muscle. In this case, for the standard wheelchair, the MA ranged from 93% to 123%. In contrast, for a wheelchair equipped with the hybrid propulsion system, at W = 70%, the MA was within the range of 43%–75%.

Pages (from - to)

28 - 34




License type

CC BY-NC-ND (attribution - noncommercial - no derivatives)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Full text of article

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Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

0,7 [List 2022]

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