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Benefiting the Physically Handicapped—NTU's New Invention Makes the Wheelchair More Lightweight and Handy

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, an organization affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering of NTU, has recently invented an innovative hand wheel motor. Professor Yee-Pien Yang and his research team have found a solution to make the electric wheelchair more lightweight and handy, thus benefiting many physically handicapped people who have problems with mobility.

The dynamical system of the traditional electric wheelchair uses a high speed motor to match its reduction gearbox. Such a system often results in the loss of surplus energy in the course of transmission, and the efficiency of the system is consequently greatly reduced. NTU's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center is able to invent a high-torque, low rotational speed hand wheel motor to replace the traditional design, integrating the hand support reels with the design of the motor rotor. This new hand wheel motor has the features of being lightweight and handy, with high efficiency and high density of power. With appropriate design, it can provide adequate torque without the use of auxiliary gearbox.

Inasmuch as installing the hand wheel motor directly into the rims of the wheelchair eliminates the need for traditional mechanical devices of transmission and causes the reduction of weight and energy loss, new wheelchairs using the hand wheel motor will be able to use its limited battery power more efficiently, and increase its cruising capability. Taiwan's electric wheelchair and electric motor vehicles occupy the No. 1 place in the international market, and constitute about 24.5% of the nation's export of medical supplies. The invention of this kind of new wheelchair powered by the new hand wheel motor will certainly provide more options and business opportunities for the industry and wheelchair users, and as such is worthy of further development and promotion.

Exhibition Venue: NTU's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (No. 18th, Ssu-yuan Street, Zhong Zeng District, Taipei)

Contact: Professor Yee-Pien Yang, Tel: (o2)3366-2682, e-mail: ypynag@ntu.edu.tw
Liaison Person: Miss Tang Tel: (02) 3365-3368, ext. 110

Chinese version