TecSan - Technologies pour la santé et l’autonomie

Individual self balanced vehicle for transportation in upright position for disabled persons with a support to sit to stand transition – VHIPOD

Submission summary

Dependence (5th risk) is a major issue in our societies. This risk is related to several simultaneous phenomena: an aging population, increasing life expectancy, aging populations with disabilities, obesity, increased frequency of disabling disease with age, etc.. The inability to move is a component of dependency. Currently there is no appropriate solution to avoid sitting position in thèse circumstances and the sitting becomes permanent for those people who have partially or completely lost their standing or ability of ambulation. Loss of standing is responsible for direct medical consequences (bone loss, pressure sores) or indirect (fractures, neurological disorders, social isolation). Maintain upright position as long as possible is an important goal for health. It is also an expectation of people living the loss of walking as a grieving and trying to walk anyway sometimes taking unnecessary risks. Several research projects are proposing to extend the capabilities of walking with support systems for ambulation. Many of them combine the functions of a walking aid in the form of robotic walkers to a navigation aid in the environment for people with intellectual deterioration. For stroke, the use of walkers is often impossible by the failure to grasp the handle on the paralyzed side (hemiplegia). This disease is the leading cause of motor disability in France and in most industrialized countries. The VHIPOD project aims to create a new personal electric vehicle. Positioned between the walker and the wheelchair. The project aims to involve an aid to the sit to stand transition (and reverse). It should be used from any seat or any usual seating surface, the vehicle will transport the user in an upright position Inside and outside. The project brings together clinical and academic partners around BA Systems specialized in the design of robotic platforms and ADM concept specialized in the design and implementation of projects with the automotive industry and heavily involved in projects for electric vehicles. After a rapid preliminary selection of the possible solutions clinical partners (CEREMH and the rehabilitation center Kerpape) in collaboration with all partners will define the specifications. They will be involved throughout the development process of the device to validate the concepts through the continued integration of mechanical data that ADM will include in 3D virtual moke up and real moke up to be used for validation by users. Biomechanical constraints specific to people with hemiplegia will be considered. Important work of modelling will be performed to allow mechanical appropriate choices. Control laws of the device will be gradually adjusted to the biomechanical model of the sit to stand and reverse transitions from measurements made on a test bench. BA systems will take into account the mechanical and biomechanical constraints in the embodiment of the device and will do a permanent quality control with a cost adjustment to propose a marketable product in France on a financial initial basis of a sophisticated electric wheelchair. The project will be highly dependent on the technology experience of BA systems, ADM and LAMIH Valenciennes. The project coordinator (LaTIM Brest) has extensive experience in the field of disability and biomechanics of disabled subjects. The originality of this project is based on a conceptual change: loss of ability to walk does not require the use of a wheelchair.

Project coordinator

Laboratoire public

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Centre de ressources et d'innovation mobilité handicap
BA systèmes
Centre mutualiste de rééducation et réadaptation de Kerpape
Laboratoire d'Automatique, de Mécanique et d'informatique Industrielles et Humaines

Help of the ANR 963,124 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2012 - 42 Months

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