View Full Version : SUMMARY: pressure mat for wheelchair cushion evaluation

06-29-1998, 04:46 AM
Thanks to all for your responses. Here are my main conclusions:
1. There are two main suppliers of flexible pressure mats: TekScan
and Novel.
2. No system has been identified which can also be able to measure
shear forces or humidity.

For those who might be interested, here are the responses collected:

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Have you thought about the possibility of using pressure sensitive
film? Here are a couple of internet addresses if you are interested:


Hope this is of some use, Kambiz.

************************************************** *****
Kambiz Saber-sheikh
Computational Engineering and Design Centre
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Southampton
Southampton Phone: + 44 1703 593392
S017 1BJ Fax: + 44 1703 593230
England, UK. Email: kss@soton.ac.uk

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Novel GmbH
Beichtstr. 8
80802 München

they provide a system measuring compressive forces.
Or maybe you can get some information at the University of Münster:

Institut für Bewegungswissenschaften
Dr. Klaus Peikenkamp
Horstmarer Landweg 62b
48149 Münster
Tel. 0251 / 8334848
Fax 0251 / 8334872
Email: biomech@uni-muenster.de

They have dealt a lot with pressure measurement on soft surfaces.

Good luck


Dr. Uwe G. Kersting
German Sport University Cologne
Institute for Athletics and Gymnastics
Carl-Diem-Weg 6
D50933 Cologne
- Germany -
Phone: ++49 221 4982 416
Fax: ++49 221 4973 454
e-mail: kersting@hrz.dshs-koeln.de

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My name is Alessandra Mingrino, and I am currently working at the
University of Padova for the development of a sensor system for the
evaluation of the pressure distribution in bike saddles while
pedalling. I carry on this research for Selle Royal, an italian

Also, Royal has a Medical section, called Royal Medica, where they
develop wheelchair cushions that are now evaluated using a particular
pad. It's a sensor based on resistive principle, the dimensions of it
are 49 x 53 cm, and it is composed of a matrix of 42 x 48 resistive
sensors, 0.7 x 0.7 cm. This is only measuring the pressure
distribution, no humidity or shear force. Please, if you get infos of
such a sensor, let me know.


Alessandra Mingrino

Alessandra Mingrino, PhD
Istituto di Anatomia Umana Normale
Via Gabelli 67
35100 Padova - Italy
tel.+39 49 827 2324 (*)
fax.+39 49 827 2319 (*)
e-mail mingrino@mail.cbi.polimi.it

(*) to be changed from june 19th into
+39 049 827 2324 and +39 049 827 2319

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Tekscan out of Boston MA sells a system that is very nice for pressure
sensing. Call Chuck McWilliams @ 617-464-4500. Tell him that I
referred you to him. Good luck.

Al Vangura

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Call TEKSCAN (Head office in Boston, USA) at 1 800 248 3669 or +1 617
464 4266 and ask for Julie McCarriston, Joanna Danlluk or Greg

Do tell them that I am refering you.

TEKSCAN is a manufacturer and distributer of pressure maps and they do
have a system specific for wheelchairs (seat and back). They also
have dsistributers world round, but I do not know who serves Spain.



Norman Murphy, Ph.D.
Research Co-ordinator
Biomechanics of Hockey Research Laboratory
NIKE, Inc. / University of Ottawa Agreement

Coordonnateur de la recherche
Laboratoire de recherche en biomécanique du hockey
Accord NIKE inc. / Université d'Ottawa

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I am with Motion Analysis Corporation and familar with Pressure mats.
I understand the Novel Company in Munich has the best mat for your
application. I have enclosed their North America contact person Susan
at novelinc@aol.com or their UK person Caroline at
pe60@dial.pipex.com who can further direct you. I believe their site
is http://www.novel.de They are a pretty innovated company always
coming up with new software on pressure mat systems

Let me know if I can be of assistance with Cameras.

Motion Analysis Corporation
Daniel India, Vice President
3617 Westwind Blvd
Santa Rosa, CA 95403 USA
HQ Tel: 707-579-6500 Direct 847-945-1411
HQ Fax 707-526-0629 Direct 847-945-1442

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You are asking about my Master's Thesis! I studied dynamic seating
pressure during wheeling. The mat I used was the Pliance mat from
Novel GmbH. It's the best I found for pressure measurement, but does
not measure shear or humidity (I've never seen a mat that does).The
closest people I know of for you are the headquarters in Germany.
Visit Novel's website at http://novel.de. Attached is an abstract from
my research. I'm happy to share more info if you are interested. Good

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They use systems like this for car seat design. In order to see how
people sit, they put these specially designed 'sheets' over the seat.
THe sampling frequency may be low, but that does not matter to you I
think. The resolution is about 1sqcm and it measure pressure
directly. The biggest drawback is cost, which may be about $50,000.
Try Chuck McWilliams at 1-800-248-3669 ext 238, the company is

Good luck

Stefan M. Duma Research Engineer University of Virginia Automobile
Safety Laboratory 1011 Linden Avenue Charlottesville, VA 22902 (W)
804-296-7288 (Fax) 804-296-3453

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The only pressure mat that has the kind of resolution you are looking
for is manufactured by Tekscan, Inc. in South Boston. You should
contact Charles F. Malacaria at (800) 248-3669 or (617) 464-4500
extension 233. Sincerely, Mac Reynolds, Ph.D. Professor and Director
Ergonomics Research Laboratory Michigan State University Voice:
517-487-1702 Fax: 517-487-2023 e-mail: reynolds@ergo.msu.edu

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Did you already read the article of Goossens RHM, Groeneveld WH and
Snijders CJ, 'assessment of decubitus risk in a testing cicuit using
different wheelchair cushions', J. Rehab Sciences 1993; 6: 8-12? It
will help you to establish what specs are important and what is
available. Richard Goossens himself can be contacted at Delft
University of Technology or at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam,
maybe he has updated information.


Liek Voorbij.

A.I.M. Voorbij (MSc)
TU Delft
Faculty of Design, Engineering and Production
Subfaculty Industrial Design Engineering
Section Physical Ergonomics
Jaffalaan 9

Phone +31(15)2785196
Fax: +31(15)2787179

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Check on a system made by NOVELgmbh. It is called Pliance system, and
consists of a pressure mat for wheelchair cushions. The last I heard
is that they have mats with resolution of 2 sqcm. Maybe they have
upgrades already.

Novel is located in Germany:

Phone: 89-390102. Fax: 89-337432

I hope that this information can be useful for you. Maybe they have a
web site, but the catalog I have is from 95, and makes no mention to
web sites or emails.


Prof. Antônio A. F. Quevedo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Home Page: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/1601
Tel: +55-19-788-7895
Fax: +55-19-788-3346
ICQ: 3743834

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We have both a pliance 2000 and pliance 16-P systems from Novel GMBH
(they are on the internet at http://www.novel.de/). I have been using
the pressure distribution measurement systems (to measure gait) by
novel for 7 years with satisfactory results. Some of my latest work
has been in seating (check out our website at
http://www.uwlax.edu/SAH/PT/biomech.html) - we have had the seat mat
systems for a close to 2 years now. The measurement system is based
on capacitive sensor technology. The mats are very flexible and so
are the sensors to yield less hammocking etc. Also, a pressure chamber
is supplied so that you are able to calibrate and verify measurements
taken. Currently, the systems measure pressures normal to the seat
interface. I am unaware of a commercially available sensor system to
measure shear. This is quite a challenging task especially if you
want to have a flexible matrix of sensors to assess the seat

If you would like further information, please feel free to contact me
personally at Tom_Kernozek@uwlax.edu


Tom Kernozek, Ph.D.
Tom Kernozek, Ph.D.
Strzelczyk Clinical Biomechanics Laboratory
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Physical Therapy Department
La Crosse, WI 54601
Javier Sanchez-Lacuesta
Institute of Biomechanics / Technical Aids Section
P.O.BOX 199 / E-46980 PATERNA (SPAIN)
Tel: +34-96-1366032 / Fax: +34-96-1366033

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