Propulsion Device for Manual Wheelchair

 A simple and efficient energy recovery system for manual wheelchair



People using manual wheelchairs develop pain and musculoskeletal disorders in the upper limbs, the shoulders and the neck due to the intense and repeated efforts provided during the relatively short propulsion phase. About 60-70% of the propulsion cycle doesn’t contribute to the forward displacement of the manual wheelchair.

The aim of the present invention is to provide a propulsion device for a manual wheelchair allowing a better leveling of the effort of a user for moving the manual wheelchair in the forward direction. This propulsion device is a simple and light mechanism using springs and freewheels that can be mounted easy on any manual wheelchairs. With this device, we expect to help preventing or at least reducing the occurrence of pain for the user.


- Better leveling of the upper limb efforts during the manual wheelchair propulsion.

- Simplicity, lightweight, allow to fold the wheelchair, relative low cost


- Technical aid for individuals using a manual wheelchair.

- Possible extension for sport and leisure manual wheelchairs.


-  First prototype developed

-  Innovation Awards: 2012 - Geneva University, 2013 - Geneva University Hospitals, 2017- SOFMER

-  Patent application filed (EP13188604.6)


- Yoshimasa SAGAWA (Geneva Universty Hospitals during the invention, now in CHRU Besançon)

- Stéphane ARMAND (Geneva Universty Hospitals and Geneva University)

- Eric WATELAIN (Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis)


- Presentation at Geneva University Hospitals for the Innovation Day


- Tribune de Genève