THE INVESTIGATION AND COMPUTER MODELLING OF HUMANS WITH DISABILITIES
DS 68-4: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 4: Product and Systems Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Aids for the invalid or infirmed are often created simply by modifying those used by the able-bodied, with little care taken as to their individual needs and limitations. This study is aimed at determining their actual requirements through both modelling their anthropomorphic conditions, and measuring their physical capabilities. The subjects are evaluated in an experimental rig where, for example, the appropriate force data is collected. The physical limitations of the skeleton are also recorded and entered into a manikin model incorporated within a constraint environment. Together the manikin models are used to evaluate the disability aid under consideration. This approach has been employed in the study of wheelchairs for people with spinal injuries. Here the positions at which the maximum pushing capability of the subject can be determined and the chair modified, or redesigned, to allow this to be achieved. A similar approach can be applied to other invalid aids and medical equipment. A procedure is now being developed that can be applied to the collection of this data which can handle a range of problems for the creation of more effective aids for the elderly and infirmed.