Initial prototype Chiang Mai University single-occupant electric vehicle for paraplegic wheelchair-seated drivers

  • Sawattikanon N Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
  • Keratibumrungpong W Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
  • Jurnsawang N Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
  • Kovindha A Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
Keywords: Technological invention, Automobile, Electric vehicle, Wheelchair users, Wheelchair-seated driver, Paraplegia

Abstract

Objectives  To describe the initial prototype Chiang Mai University single-occupant electric vehicle for paraplegic wheelchair-seated drivers and to demonstrate paraplegic wheelchair users’ satisfaction with the vehicle.

Methods A used 2-seat Chinese electric vehicle was modified including invention and installation of a remote-controlled rear-door-to-ramp conversion which provided access for a wheelchair as well as a securement system for the wheelchair. The prototype electric vehicle had two rear motor hubs, an electric motor with peak power of 2.1 kW, and a 60V, 80Ah lead-acid battery pack. A motorcycle handlebar/brake system had also been added. The vehicle’s maximum speed was 48 km/h. Ten paraplegic wheelchair users who regularly drive a modified sidecar motorcycle test-drove the prototype while seated in a Japanese light-weight manual wheelchair with an adaptor installed for wheelchair docking. The pariticpants rated their satisfaction with the prototype, compared it with their modified sidecar motorcycles and provided suggestions for further improvement.

Results  All participants were able to drive the prototype without difficulty with the exception of reverse parallel parking. They all stated they were very satisfied with the prototype. Compared to their modified sidcar motorcycles, the prototype had higher average satisfaction scores for safety (p = 0.05) but slightly lower for performance (p = 0.414). Higher ramp side rails, lower wheelchair docking, an audio obstacle warning system for reverse parallel parking, and a smaller turning radius were suggested improvements.

Conclusions Paraplegic wheelchair users were very satisfied with the initial prototype Chiang Mai University single-occupant electric vehicle for wheelchair-seated drivers, although adjustments to improve performance are needed.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

1. Bickenbach J, Officer A, Shakespeare T, von Groote P. World Health Organization; International Spinal Cord Society. International perspectives on spinal cord injury. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013.
2. Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine. Outcomes following traumatic spinal cord injury: clinical practice guidelines for health-care professionals. Washington DC: Paralyzed Veterans of America; 1999.
3. Reinhardt JD, Middleton J, Bökel A, Kovindha A, Kyriakides A, Hajjioui A, et al. Environmental barriers experienced by people with spinal cord injury across 22 countries: results from a cross-sectional survey. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2020;101:2144-56.
4. Kovindha A. People with spinal cord injury in Thailand. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;96:S121-3.
5. Attawong T, Kovindha A. The influencing factors of acceptance of disability in spinal cord injured patients. NJNS. 2005:2;67-70.
6. Ovatakanont P, Kovindha A, Wittayanin W, Mongkol S. Mobility and self-care activities related to the ability to drive and control a modified motorcycle: a pilot study in paraplegic persons. J Thai Rehabil Med. 2006;16:85-97.
7. Vongpakorn P, Kovindha A. Employment rate of Thais with spinal cord injury and predictive factors. J Thai Rehabil Med. 2014;24: 28-36.
8. Ramakrishnan K, Chung TY, Hasnan N, Abdullah SJ. Return to work after spinal cord injury in Malaysia. Spinal Cord. 2011;49:812-6.
9. Dalyan M, Cardenas DD, Gerard B. Upper extremity pain after spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 1999;37:191-5.
10. van Roosmalen L, Ritchie Orton N, Schneider L. Safety, usability, and independence for wheelchair-seated drivers and front-row passengers of private vehicle: a qualitative research study. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50:239-52.
11. Wikipedia. Cars for wheelchair users [Internet]. 2020 [updated 2020 Dec 17; cited 2021 Jan 17]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cars_for_wheelchair_users
12. Wikipedia. ChairiotSolo [Internet]. [update 2019 Nov 23; cited 2021 Jan 20]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chairiot_solo
13. Chairiot-mobility.com. ChairiotTMsolo [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2021 Jan 17]. Available from: http://www.chairiot-mobility.com/The_Chairiot.html
14. Startup selfie. Kenguru, world’s first drive-from-wheelchair electric car [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Jan 20]. Available from: https://www.startupselfie.net/2018/05/ 04/kenguru-worlds-first-drive-from-wheelchair-electric-car/
15. Ministerial Regulation defining characteristics or provision of equipment, facilities or services in other buildings, places or public services so that persons with disabilities can access and make use of them, B.E. 2556. 20 [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2021 Jan 20] Available from: https://www.doe.go.th/prd/assets/upload/files/BKK_th/d2d8c77204d9b6d2853cd9cd9240c23f.pdf
16. Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. National Disability Authority. Building for everyone: a universal design approach [Internet]. 2020. [cited 2021 Jan 20]. Available from: http://universaldesign.ie/Built-Environment/Building-for-Everyone/1-External-Environment.pdf
17. Oatis CA. Kinesiology: the mechanics and pathomechanics of human movement. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Wolters Kluwer business; 2009.
18. Department of Land Transport. Determine the power of electric motors used to drive cars under the automobile Act, B.E. 2560. [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 18]. Available from: https://www.dlt.go.th/th/announce/view.php?_did=1620
Published
2021-07-01
How to Cite
1.
N S, W K, N J, A K. Initial prototype Chiang Mai University single-occupant electric vehicle for paraplegic wheelchair-seated drivers. Chiang Mai Med J. [nternet]. 2021Jul.1 [cited 2021Dec.5];60(3):271-9. vailable from: https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/CMMJ-MedCMJ/article/view/251865
Section
Original Article