Development of a modularized seating system to actively manage interface pressure

Chung Huang Yu, Tung Yu Chou, Cheng Huan Chen, Poyin Chen, Fu Cheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Pressure ulcers can be a fatal complication. Many immobile wheelchair users face this threat. Current passive and active cushions do reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers and they have different merits. We proposed an active approach to combine their advantages which is based on the concept that the interface pressure can be changed with different supporting shapes. The purpose of this paper is to verify the proposed approach. With practical applications in mind, we have developed a modular system whose support surface is composed by height-adjustable support elements. Each four-element module was self-contained and composed of force sensors, position sensors, linear actuators, signal conditioners, driving circuits, and signal processors. The modules could be chained and assembled together easily to form different-sized support surfaces. Each support element took up a 3 cm × 3 cm supporting area. The displacement resolution was less than 0.1 mm and the force sensor error was less than 1% in the 2000 g range. Each support element of the system could provide 49 N pushing force (408 mmHg over the 3 cm × 3 cm area) at a speed of 2.36 mm/s. Several verification tests were performed to assess the whole system's feasibility. Further improvements and clinical applications were discussed. In conclusion, this modularized system is capable of actively managing interface pressure in real time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14235-14252
Number of pages18
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2014


  • Active support surface
  • Cushion
  • Modular design
  • Posture support devices
  • Pressure management
  • Pressure ulcer
  • Seat simulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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