Published Dec 14, 2016


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Giuseppe Quaglia, PhD

Walter Franco, PhD

Matteo Nisi, MSc



Introduction: This paper presents the functional design and kinematic synthesis of a recent version of an electric stair-climbing wheelchair. Wheelchair.q: The proposed device represents the latest evolution of the ‘Wheelchair.q’ project and introduces several improvements over previous designs. This updated solution has greater stability during stair-climbing operation, and it satisfies the safety requirements introduced by ISO 7176-28:2012, “Requirements and test methods for stair-climbing devices”. The main improvement presented concerns the regularity of the user trajectory during stair-climbing, which ensures a more comfortable perception. This result has been achieved by introducing a cam mechanism between the frame connected to the locomotion unit and the seat frame, which properly manages the seat orientation. With an appropriate cam profile, it is possible to compensate for the oscillations that are introduced on the wheelchair during the climbing sequence and allow the user to obtain a translational trajectory. Results: The proposed design and its working principle are first described and illustrated through schematic and graphic representations. A brief explanation of the procedure for obtaining the cam profile is also given. Two different architectures for the cam mechanism are then compared, and the advantages and disadvantages for each solution are identified. Finally, the kinematic wheelchair performances are tested through a simulation conducted in the MSC-ADAMS multibody environment. Conclusions: The results obtained with the simulation show the effectiveness of the proposed solution. The wheelchair is able to climb a staircase in a safe and regular way. Following studies will complete the design of the wheelchair with the aim to build a prototype for demonstrating the proposed working principle.


stair-climbing wheelchair, architectural barriers, cam mechanism, wheelchair.qsubir escaleras, silla de ruedas, barreras arquitectónicas, mecanismo cam

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How to Cite
Quaglia, G., Franco, W., & Nisi, M. (2016). Kinematic analysis of an electric stair-climbing wheelchair. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 21(1), 27–48.
Industrial and systems engineering