View Full Version : Summary about seating simulators

Jean-philippe Ringuette
07-10-1996, 11:08 PM
Dear subscribers,

In May, i have posted the following message about seating simulators
for wheelchair users:

"I am asking information about seating simulators for wheelchair users.
It is an multiajustable apparatus on which the patient sits. It is possible
to vary the patient positioning in order to obtain the optimal seating for
the functional needs. It allows simulation and evaluation of the patient

The simulator looks like an ajustable chair on which different parameters
can be varied (seat depth, seat width, footrest length, back heigth,tilt,...).
When the optimal seating is obtained, measuremnts of the different variables
are performed and are then used for the prescription of the appropriate
wheelchair and other components (cushion, thoracic support,...).

So, i am looking for information (references, names of
companies,...) about seating simulators or simulation. I have identified 3
companies (Pin Dot, Thallahassee Therapeutics and Nova Seating) and some
literature refereneces (Presperin, Taylor, Trefler, Shapcott, Reger,
Bardsley,...). If you have some information about that subject,
i would be thankful to receive it.

Jean-Philippe Ringuette
Student in mechanical engineering
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Quebec, Canada
E-mail: jpring@panoramix.meca.polymtl.ca"

Here are the answers that i have received:

================================================== ==========================
From: "S.Rassoulian"


Among the refs, you have I noticed the name of Roger Bardsley, he is in
Dundee, at the Limb Fitting Centre, Broughty Ferry Road, Dundee, Scotland UK

He will know a lot about this subject as they have started the so called
the Dundee chair. I know a company in Edinburgh (Scotland, made a number
of commercial versions which also looked very smart.

You can also contact Dr. B McHugh at the National Center For Training and
Education in Orthotics & Prosthetics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4,
Scotland, UK.

Best of luck.

[~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~]
[ Hamid Rassoulian ]
[ Senior Bioengineer ]
[ Dept. of Medical Physics & Bioengineering ]
[ Southampton General Hospital ]
[ Southampton SO16 6YD ]
[ United Kingdom ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~]
================================================== ==========================
From: ahirao@mech.keio.ac.jp (Akinari Hirao)

Dear Jean-Philippe,

I am a student for doctoral desertion in biomechanics at Keio University,
Yokohama, Japan.
My master desertion was analysis of determination criteria of sitting
posture by biomechanical model. I will make paper of this in this year and
have presentation on ESB'96 this summer.

Now, I am intend to make seating simulator for seat design based upon
biomechanical loads.
So, I would be thankful to receive information about the references you have.

I don't know you interest in what kind of seating simulator.
If you interested in ergonomical simulator, the following summary is good
for you.

J.M.Porter et al. : Computer-aided ergonomics design of automobiles,
In "Automotive Ergonomics" Edited by Peacock,B. and Karwowski,W.
Taylor & Fracis Ltd.

Thank you for reading my little English.

Best regards.
************************************************** ******
Akinari Hirao
Yamazaki & Maeno Laboratory.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Keio University.
3-14-1, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 223, JAPAN
Tel.+81-45-563-1141 ext.3108 $B!! (BFax.+81-45-563-5943
Internet:ahirao@mech.keio.ac.jp (Univ), MXI04275@niftyserve.or.jp (Home)

================================================== ==========================
From: "Beth Todd"


>From what I know about wheelchair prescription, it sounds like you
have found the work of the biggest researchers in this area. One
other that you may want to consider is Ferguson-Pell and maybe even
Kathy Post. I'm going to forward your more detailed message to the
Wheeled Mobility and Seating Special Interest Group of the
Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America, RESNA. They may
have some additional suggestions.

Beth Todd

Dr. Beth A. Todd
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Box 870276, 290 Hardaway Hall
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0276
fax: (205)348-7240
================================================== =======================
From: Don Neth


Dr. Davis forwarded your e-mail to me. Take a look at the
simulator developed by Akron-Home Medical. You can contact
Don Lewis at AHM at 216/579-1860. You may want to ask him
for info on the Signature 2000 - a computerized sensor for
acquiring contour information which I helped to develop and
license at the Cleveland Clinic.

Don Neth
================================================== =======================
From: "Joseph E. Hale"

A "seating simulator" for use in fabrication of custom seating cushions for
wheelchairs was developed at the Rehabilitation Engineering Center on
Wheelchair Mobility and Seating at the University of Virginia (references by
Reger, Sprigle, Brubaker and others). That technology was subsequently
transferred to Pin Dot. The REC on Wheelchair Mobility and Seating is now
at the University of Pittsburgh. I'm not sure in they are still pursuing
this project, but they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck,
Joe Hale

Joseph E. Hale, Ph.D.
Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab., Box 374 TEL: 804-924-5989
University of Virginia FAX: 804-924-1691
Charlottesville, VA 22908 USA email: jhale@virginia.edu

================================================== =======================
From: "A. Mahr"

Dear Mr. Ringuette,
I don't know if this is exactly what you are looking for but may be it get's
you further. I know that at the Technical University in Berlin / Germany
extensive investigations in wheelchairs have been made ( kind of road
simulation for wheel chairs ). Since the group of Prof. Boenick was involved
in wheelchair testing they probably can give you some hints. The person to
contact is probably Mr. Wilke at the test center for orthopaedic aids at the
University. See addresses below.

Technische Universitaet Berlin
Geschaeftsfuhrender Direktor des Institutes fur Feinwerktechnik und
Biomedizinische Technik
Fachgebiet Biomedizinische Technik
Herrn Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Boenick
Dovestr. 6
D-10587 Berlin
Telefon : +49-30-314-23388
Fax : +49-30-314-21098 or -21098

Technische Universitaet Berlin
Institut fur Feinwerk- und Biomedizinische Technik
Pruefstelle fur orthopaedische Hilfsmittel
Herrn Ing. Reinhardt Wilk
Dovestr. 6
D-10587 Berlin
Telefon : +49-30-314-25110 or -25112
Fax : +49-30-314-21098

By the way, if you're also looking for Biomechanical Simulation Systems you
can contact MTS Systems Corp. in Eden Prairie / Minnesota. We have done a
variety of servohydraulic based computer controlled simulation systems.
Contact person : Mr. George Lucas , voice 612-937-4555, toll free
800-944-1687, E-Mail george.lucas@mts.com

Best Regard and Good Luck for your search

Andrej Mahr
Biomechanics / Biomaterials
MTS Systems GmbH
Hohentwielsteig 3
Germany-14163 Berlin
Phone : +49-30-81002211
Fax : +49-30-81002100
E-Mail : andrej.mahr@mts.com

================================================== ==========================
From: Linda Petty

When we looked for one at Bloorview Children's hospital, we decided against the
commercially available products and created our own, with the help of a vendor. I
am no longer at Bloorview, but you could contact the seating coordinator there,
Stefanie Sukstorf Laurence at 416-494-2222, ext. 268. She has presented on this
before and could probably send you a handout, etc.

Linda Petty
================================================== ==========================
From: Charlotte Bhasin

Another company that sells a Seating Simulator is:

"Signature 2000" Seating Simulator
Akron-Cleveland Home Medical Services
489 W. Exchange St.
Akron, OH 44302
phone: (216) 579-1860
fax: (216) 376-0877
Contact Paul Banz for information/product literature.

This one has a very stable design, built-in angle goniometers. It can be
used "as is" for assessment, or plaster-casted, OR it has CAD/CAM
attachments to ultimately fabricate custom cushions.

Charlotte Bhasin, MOT, OTR/L
Manager of seating clinic services at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland,
================================================== ===========================
From: "David Gow"

Dear Jean - Phillipe

Some information which may help you regarding the seating simulator. In
Scotland we have 4 or 5 of these devices which we call assessment chairs. They
were based on the original design from Dundee (Bardsley et al.). These were
built at no cost to our health service by using apprentices in industry to
construct the electro-hydraulic actuators and logic circuitry. Unfortunately
the resultant chairs did not work very well and each Centre that received one
had to spend a great deal of time in re-engineering the chairs. Our chair is
now routinely used in our special seating clinic and apart from leaking
hydraulic oil every once in a while it is proving very useful. It is
especially good for allowing us to cast patients using evacuated bead-bags. I
think every Centre should have one. Hope this is of interest.

David Gow
Bioengineering Centre Edinburgh
================================================== ===========================
From: "Monte, Leanne, and Yric"

There is a modular system available on the market that can be
twisted and bent in any direction until each piece is individually
tightened. This allows for spot relief for pressure points with out
changing the rest of the chair set up. All that is done is to loosen the
pieces that are to be moved. I wish I could remember the product name or
the manufacturer but I cann't. I saw the product presented at one of
the school's grand rounds this year so I know that it is still
available. I hope that this has been of some help and if there's
anything that I can do to be of further assistence please write back.

Yric C. Hoekstra
Student in Orthotics/Prosthetics Tech
George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
================================================== ===========================
From: schmeler@pitt.edu (Mark Schmeler)


Got your request forwarded to the RESNA listserve regarding seating
simulators. I am an Occupational Therapist specializing in wheeled
mobility and seating. I am originally from Cowanswille, Quebec and am
pleased to hear from another Quebecois. I have worked very closely with
all of the people you found references on. Nigel Shapcott and Elaine
Trefler are both here at the University of Pittsburgh with me. We have
just written a grant to obtain funding to further refine the design of the
simulator but probably won't have anything to publish or present for a
couple of years. However, you have 2 excellent resources right in Quebec
if you don't already know them.

Alain Laferriere, M. Sc. is an ergonomist and designer with a company
called Ergoresearche who has designed a few simulators for both the
wheelchair industry and airline/trucking industry. He is based in Montreal
and can be reached at 514-846-4098 or email ergo@odyssee.net. Another
person is Mario Ouilette with Physipro in Sherbrooke. He has worked
closely with Alain to design a very nice wheelchair seating simulator and
uses it in his clinics. He can be reached at 819-823-2252.

Otherwise there has not been much else published on the use of the
simulator which is desperately needed to justify our or practice. Hope
this is helpful and don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further
help to your project.

Mark R. Schmeler, M.S., OTR/L
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Center For Assistive Technology
Forbes Tower, Suite 3010
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582
tel: (412) 647-1313, fax: (412) 647-1322, beeper: (412) 574-2538
email: schmeler@pitt.edu
================================================== ===========================
From: hekman@utwbbwu2.wb.utwente.nl (e.e.g.hekman@wb.utwente.nl)

I have the title of an article which describes a seating-system consisting of
a number of vertically movable rods. These rods can be actuated by stepper
motors. Each rod has a flat swivel unit on the end, which records the
direction of the normal to the surface. Below this is a force sensor. Using
the information from these two, pressure normal to the surface can be
calculated. The test-setup described in the article consists of a four-by-four
array of rods. They can, for instance, support a sphere such that the pressure
on all swivel heads is the same. Problem is they have a hell of a time
controlling the thing. Even with a four-by-four array, it takes them ten
minutes to create the even pressure distribution as I described it above.
Below you will find the article data and abstract.


Edsko Hekman

Twente University
Fac. Mechanical Engineering
Lab. for Biomechanical Engineering (WB-BW)
Postbus 217
7500AE Enschede
The Netherlands tel. 31-53-4893173 fax. 31-53-4893471

e-mail e.e.g.hekman@wb.utwente.nl
================================================== ==========================
From: schmeler@pitt.edu (Mark Schmeler)


Neither Nigel nor Doug have published anything on seating simulators since
1990. We hope though to have some new stuff in the next couple of years
once our grant is funded.

The reference to Doug and Elaine's book is as follows;

Trefler, E., Hobson, D.A., Taylor, S.J., Monahan, L.C., and Shaw, G.
(1993). Seating and Mobility for Persons with Physical Disabilities.
Tucson, AZ: Therapy Skill Builders. (available through publisher for $39US
at 602-323-7500)

Adrienne Burgen's text also makes refernce to simulation;

Bergen, A., Presperin, J., & Tallman (1990). Positioning for Function;
Wheelchairs and Other Assistive DEvices. Valhalla, NY: Valhalla
RehabilitationPublications. (ISBN 0-911681-04-3, available for $49.95US
from publisher: P.O. Box 195, Valhalla, NY 10595 tel (914) 948-1004)

Other people you might want to search in the literature or contact
aresimulators are;

Michael Silverman - Pin Dot Corp. (now owned by Invacare) 312-774-1700 -
they make the KISS simulator

Randy Stoykewich - Otto Bock 612-553-9464 - Make a CAD/CAM molding system

Kelly Waugh - Physio at Children's Specialized Hosp in New Jersey
908-233-3720 - involved in the design of the Tallahassee Flamingo Simulator

Michael Bullard - President of Tallahassee Therapeutic Equipment - has
moved to Thailand but might have published something.

Hope this is useful.

================================================== ==========================
From: Ramona Okumura

In reply to your inquiry, Gillette childrens hospital in St. Paul
Minnesota markets a seat which since it is growth adjustable for children
has all these position adjustment capabilities. if you want to include
custom fitting of seat cushions, you would have to adapt that yourself, as
these systems are described as "rectilinear". You may want to look at the
proceedings for RESNA, the rehap engineering society of north america for
other ideas.

oh yes, you can contact Gillette's Habilitation Technology Lab by calling
(612) 291-2848.
================================================== ==========================
From: "Leonard Anderson, CPRFK"

I read your request for information regarding simulated seating for
evaluation purposes. We developed our own evaluation chair which
has all of the adjustments that you mention. We have made a few of
these for others and have found them to be quite successful in
setting up the various parameters for seating prescriptions. If you
are interested in more information as to how to purchase our system
contact me. The phone is (316)651-5201.
================================================== ==========================