Max-Mobility, a manual wheelchair innovation company based in Nashville, was looking to develop a device capable of determining a user’s balance angle in their wheelchair. Because balance angle accounts for both vertical and horizontal center of gravity, clinicians can use it to achieve desired performance characteristics (ex. stability, push angle, cross-slope veering, etc).
Our team decided to rely on the oscillatory motion of a wheelie, which fundametally hovers around the user/wheelchair system’s balance angle. With this in mind, we prototype a measurement tools capable of capturing angle data through wheelie execution.
Our final prototype consisted of our own inertial measurement unit (IMU) and Arduino. Data taken from a gyroscope and accelerometer were transmitted to the microcontroller using SPI communication and then coupled to provide real-time angle measurements. This data was then run through an averaging algorithm on the arduino to determine the user’s balance angle on the LED screen.