View Full Version : Re: Seat Contour measurement

Stephen Sprigle
08-21-1996, 10:56 PM
re: seat contours

A few systems have been developed for use in custom wheelchair seating
which measure seat contours. this technology might transfer well to you

the MSS system by Pin Dot-Invacare uses a mechanical system in which wire
passes through 5" thick foam- the translation of the wire end pieces can be
and form the basis of a custom cushion

Pin Dot also sells the KISS simulator which uses a rubber bag filled with
beads- the bag is molded around a person, air is evacuated and he shape is

Otto Bock offers a shape sensing system which uses similar technology as the
KISS but
shape is measured using a polhemus or flock of birds system and is linked
directly into
a computer

A few companies sell foam-in-place kits- simply, liquid foam which is poured
into a bag and a person sits
upon it as the foam expands around the buttocks (or back)- this is a cheap means
to get a nice custom cushion

a few electronic systems were used in the past and are still floating around-
they were designed at the University of Virginia and University of Pittsburgh- i
have one here which you can use, anytime

the electronic systems offer the best opportunity for 'over time' measures, but
of course, they are the least accessible

seeing your location- i would investigate Invacare and Otto Bock- both are large
international companies

A few of us wrote articles on seat contours based on work in virginia- search
under Chung KC, Sprigle S, or Brienza D for some articles

another really cool article is:
Yamazaki N, Ergonomics vol 35(5-6) May-June 1992
analysis of sitting comfortability of driver's seat by contact shape

he used arrays of strain gages (actually curved flat metal ribbon) to recreate
seat shape- i have never seen this technology since, but would love to get my
hands on it for a while

good luck- hopefully the wheelchair seating arena will prove useful to you

stephen sprigle
helen hayes hospital
new york state

From: Neil Tuttle NHS

...I am looking for information on the contours of human-seat interfaces.
That is, the shape of the seat which conforms to the human form.
.. I have been unable to find much on the
contours of the seat that occur while sitting. Are there any
instruments capable of measuring these contours through time besides
by "casting" shapes at certain points in time ?
with thanks
Neil Tuttle
Griffith University
Gold Coast