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Design of a computer-controlled seating surface for research applications

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4 Author(s)

The design of a system to facilitate investigations of the loading of the human body on a seat surface and the ongoing evaluation of a prototype system are presented. Knowledge and understanding of the effect of support surface shape on load distribution at the body and seat interface are vital components of an automated seat contour design and fabrication system. The need for a research tool that allows for control of surface shape with simultaneous measurement of the interface forces is of considerable importance to current research in the area of custom and specialized seating. The computer-aided seating system (CASS) presented allows for development of surface control algorithms based on force feedback that are not possible using currently available contour sensing and evaluation devices. Additionally, the contour-controlled force feedback system will facilitate the study of tissue distortion at the loaded seat interface. Such information about how the body distorts under load can be directly applied to passive custom seating systems, assist in clinical seat contour design and benefit designs on noncustom wheelchair cushions. The specification, design and testing of a prototype of the CASS is described

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Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )