How an Electric Wheelchair Works

An electric wheelchair is not a one-size-fits-all product. Many electric wheelchairs are customizable. This is especially true for complex rehab power wheelchairs as custom rehab solutions are often required.

It is easiest to discuss the various components of a power wheelchair and how they all relate to one another. The chair is built starting at the bottom with the selection of a power base. Power bases consist of drive wheels, which can be positioned in the front, middle, or rear of a base. For example, the 4Front® Power Chair from Quantum Rehab® features front-wheel drive. The power base also contains motors and brakes, batteries, caster wheels, anti-tip wheels, and wiring harnesses. Power bases also have plastic shrouding, with many of them offered in a variety of colors from basic hues to hydrographic designs.

Next, a seating system is added to the power base. Seating systems can vary greatly. Contoured seating is usually the standard seating option on a power chair and is selected when special positioning is not required. Contoured seating features a vinyl captain’s seat with options consisting of a high back or medium back, solid seat pan, limited recline, and depth adjustability. Static seating systems are also a good choice when special positioning is not needed as they often provide depth and width adjustability.

Several special positioning options are available for patients who need them. These consist of power tilt, power recline, power tilt and recline, power elevating leg rests, and power adjustable seat height. iLevel® technology from Quantum Rehab improves daily functionality and quality of life by allowing operation of the power chair with the seat fully elevated up to 12 inches while driving at 4.5 miles per hour.

Electronics are now attached to the motorized wheelchair. While many different drive control options can be utilized, most electric wheelchairs operate via a joystick. The joystick allows for easy front and reverse driving, as well moving to the left and right. There are non-expandable controllers and expandable controllers.

The Q-Logic 3 Advanced Drive Control System from Quantum Rehab creates an adaptable, expandable control system that serves even the most complex needs while delivering a host of exclusive features. Other expandable electronics include the Q-Logic 3 EX Enhanced Display, the Q-Logic 3 EX SAJ, and the Specialty Controls Interface Module. In addition, the optional Q-Logic 3 iAccess features programmable push button and toggle options for customized seating access.

At this point, a back cushion and seat cushion should be selected for the power wheelchair. Cushions fall under several categories including general use, skin protection, positioning, skin protection and positioning, adjustable skin protection, adjustable skin protection and positioning, and custom. Cushions are chosen based on the specific needs of a patient. Stealth Products® wheelchair cushions and Quantum wheelchair cushions and wheelchair back cushions offer a variety of power wheelchair seat cushions to meet consumers’ pressure management needs.

Finally, many different accessories can be added to the motorized wheelchair. These include LED fender lights, a USB charger, a cell phone holder, and much more.

With all these components working together, a patient can have a fully customizable complex rehab power chair.