Real World Validation of the Caster Data Logger and Pilot Measurements of Power Wheelchair Usage During and After the National Veterans’ Wheelchair Games

Garrett G. Grindle, BSE, Rory A. Cooper, PhD, Shirley G Fitzgerald, PhD, Michelle L Tolerico, MS
Human Engineering Research Laboratories - University of Pittsburgh, VA Healthcare System Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Electric powered wheelchairs (EPWs) are an important form of mobility for many persons with disabilities. Previous devices have been successful at measuring usage of EPW, but they have been limited by size or technical issues. In this study improvements were made to a caster data logger for EPWs and were used to collect pilot EPW usage data during and after the National Veterans’ Wheelchair Games (NVWG). Subjects who used an EPW as their primary means of mobility were recruited at the NVWG for this study. In 5 days at the games the participants (n=5) traveled a distance of 7751 ± 3439m per day, while traveling 3397±1300 m (n = 4) per day during 5 days the following week. The CDLs performed well and with improvement could become a valuable usage measuring tool. The data set is of limited sample size; however, future work could correct this and provide insight into barriers to EPW usage.


Electric powered wheelchair, data logging device, wheelchair usage


This research was supported by NIH-STTR Phase I grant # 1R41HD049922-01

Author Contact Information:

Garrett G. Grindle
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
7180 Highland Drive 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Office Phone (412) 356-4850


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