Ha-rok Bae (Committee Member), Hong Huang (Advisor), Junghsen Lieh (Advisor)
Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)
There are millions of people who have lost their abilities to walk and wheelchairs offer the ONLY opportunities for their interactions with people and environments outside their houses. These individuals are becoming more and more eager to adapt modern technologies on their wheelchairs to improve quality of social life and the life of freedom. However, most available electric wheelchairs, driven by traditional lead-acid batteries and gear motors, are heavy and bulky in design with low energy efficiency, limited travel radius, and scarce communication/navigation functionalities. This project is to design and prototype an electric wheelchair that is lighter, more flexible in mobility, and more energy-efficient. It will use light-weight high power density Li-ion batteries and be driven by the light and energy-efficient direct drive hub motors. It will be also designed to readily integrate with high-tech accessories for increased independence, connectivity, and useful mobility for disabled individuals. This research is focused on the following four tasks: 1) installing and testing Li-ion battery performances to prolong the wheelchair running time per charge; 2) installing and testing direct-drive hub motor to reduce the weight and energy loss; 3) designing a dynamometer based on eddy current theory to determine the efficiency of electrical motor; and 4) designing several functional components/accessories, such as iPad holder, automated battery release drawer, and wheel-extend mechanism to improve consumers' onboard independence and convenience.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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