ROBKIDS - "Development, design, construction and evaluation of a hand bike for children in wheelchairs with spastic paralysis (wheelchair hand bike for children with spastic paralysis)".

Movement disorders lead to serious functional limitations of the mobility of the affected limbs and thus hinder the exercise of everyday activities. If children are affected, they will suffer the consequences of disability throughout their lives. For these children, the ability to move independently and independently is an essential part of their quality of life.

Hand bikes for wheelchairs are drive devices that are coupled to a wheelchair as a stem. In this case, rotatorically actuated hand cranks usually drive an impeller via a chain drive. People and especially children with spastic paralysis often cannot afford this kind of activity. Here, the use of an oscillating almost linear drive motion is more suitable.

Based on this oscillating drive movement, two new wheelchair hand bikes for children with spastic paralysis (ROBKIDS) were developed according to their needs (see computer model in the picture). The findings from the development of a prototype for the adult sector will be used. The hand bikes are currently being manufactured.

The project was funded by the Holste Foundation of the RWTH Aachen University. Comparative studies will be carried out between commercial hand bikes powered by cranks and the newly developed hand bikes. The movement processes of the children are recorded and evaluated so that the individual possibilities of each child can be taken into account when dimensioning the hand bikes. An evaluation is also possible.

The clinical medical application and its therapeutic consequences for the children are very high. The tailored technical solution leads to a sophisticated medical-technical product with high relevance for patients and the social system.

Project partners

  • Institute of Mechanism Theory, Dynamics of Machines and Robotics (IGMR)
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Burkhard Corves
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University
  • Project management: Dr.-Ing. Mathias Hüsing
  • Chair of Applied Medical Technology
  • Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering (HIA)
  • Prof. Dr.med. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Schmitz-Rode
  • Medical Faculty of the RWTH Aachen University
  • Project management: Dr.rer.nat. C. Disselhorst-Klug


  • Rhineland School for the physically handicapped
  • Headmistress: Ms. Beate Jahn
  • Senior physiotherapist: Ms. Rosnaess



Institute of Mechanism Theory, Machine Dynamics and Robotics

RWTH Aachen University

Eilfschornsteinstraße 18

52062 Aachen



Phone: +49 241 80 95546

Fax:      +49 241 80 92263


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