SmartWheel Research Applications

For over a decade, the SmartWheel has been the leading measurement tool in research that has linked incidence of pain and injury in a person who uses a manual wheelchair to propulsion style, propulsion forces (how much force and what type of force), wheelchair selection (type of wheelchair), and wheelchair set-up. See a sampling of SmartWheel Published Work.

Today, SmartWheels reside at leading research institutions across the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The SmartWheel has also been used as an evaluation tool to test efficacy in a variety of contexts including:

  • Testing the efficacy of interventions.
    • For example, the SmartWheel has been used to test the effects of an exercise regimen on propulsion biomechanics.
  • Testing the efficacy of wheelchair-related products and accessories.
    • For example, the Smartwheel has been used to examine the extent to which a new ergonomic pushrim increases wheelchair propulsion efficiency.

Using the SmartWheel in Research Mode

All SmartWheels can be used in two different Modes - Clinical Mode and Research Mode. In the Research Mode, a single SmartWheel can be used for data collection or two SmartWheels, one on each side of the Wheelchair can simultaneously collect data. Simultaneous data collection is not possible in the Clinical Mode.

Each time a SmartWheel research trial is completed the SmartWheel automatically saves a CSV file with the raw strain gauge and encoder data. If the two SmartWheels are being used for simultaneous data collection then two CSV files are automatically created, one for each SmartWheel. View a Legend Explaining the Format of the Raw CSV Data Files. View a Sample Unlabeled Raw Data File.

Figure 1 below is the SmartWheel Research Mode Dialogue Screen:

Some of the features of the Research Dialogue Screen are as follows:

  • View data from 1 or 2 SmartWheels simultaneously.
  • Strain gauge data for FX, FY, FZ and MX, MY, MZ can be viewed as forces or voltages.
  • Back-up copy of data is automatically saved to the MMC Card and available MMC memory is displayed for both SmartWheels.
  • Number of recorded samples and trial length in seconds is automatically displayed.
  • Battery level indicator for both SmartWheels.

Figure 2 below is the SmartWheel Research Mode Set-up Screen:

Some of the features of the set-up screen are as follows:

  • Trial length can be specified using number of samples.
  • Triggering input and outputs are available for synchronizing with other instrumentation such as a vision system.
  • Sample data rate is selectable.

There is also a SmartWheel Data Analyzer Tool that converts and analyzes SmartWheel MMC and Research files. The Data Analyzer generates the original data as well as push data and summary data for your file.

Where is Your SmartWheel Data?

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