head img  
NTU Taiwan University img


Professor Yi-ping Yangs Research Team Won the National Innovation Award from the Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry

National Taiwan Universitys research team received national acclimation! The "hand wheel motor electrical wheelchair" R&D team, led by Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Yi-ping Yang, has successfully integrated industry demand and research achievements and scored a glorious triumph by being awarded the "National Biotechnology and Medicare Award and "National Innovation Award" from the Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry. These awards are the highest honors given to domestic biomedical industries and academic research units in terms of innovative inventions. That Professor Yangs team was able to win these awards provides solid proof of NTUs superb capability in mechanical/electrical system design and control, and medical engineering!

The review committee for the National Innovation Award was comprised of former officials from the Department of Health and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, academic and research experts, management and marketing advisors, financial and investment professionals. These top notch people form a very strong panel of judges, and, by using objective and professional criteria, which include innovativeness, market applicability, profit expectations, etc., they screened the contestants and recommended a winner for the annual National Innovation Award.

Hand wheel motor electrical wheelchair.
Professor Yangs new electrical wheelchair will benefit the physically handicapped.

Economics Affairs Minister presented the award trophy to Professor Yang.
Economics Affairs Minister Mr. Steve Ruey Long Chen presented the award trophy to Professor Yi-ping Yang.

The presentation ceremony of this years Award was held on December 20th, 2007. Many high ranking officials from various departments of the government also came to extend their congratulations. Overall, it was a grand occasion wherein all the elites of the biomedical society of Taiwan congregated (including industry members, government officials, academic professors and research fellows), exchanging and sharing Taiwans bumper harvest in biomedical research during the past year.

The electrical wheelchair driven by hand wheel motor invented by Professor Yi-ping Yangs research team uses a high-torque, low speed hand wheel motor to replace the traditional design which uses a high speed motor coupled with slowdown mechanisms. It blends the design of the armrest and the design of the motor rotor into one. Its practical functions can be summed up in four epithets: modular, lightweight, efficient, and intelligent. Of these four characteristics, being modular and lightweight reduces the weight of the electrical wheelchair to 30 kilograms, and efficiency increases its cruising capability significantly compared to other products which use similar battery power. With regard to intelligence, the design of the electrical wheelchair gears toward a health care system that is user friendly and human centered, which includes a satellite navigation system or intelligent route memory system, capable of assisting senile citizens who suffer from amnesia to return to their own residence.

This new invention has already acquired patent rights from the government of the Republic of China. For the time being the patent rights are being safeguarded by the Office of Research and Development of NTU which is also responsible for its future propagation and use.

Owing to the progress of society and the advancement of medical technology, the quality of life for human beings becomes better and better, and the life expectancy of mankind also gets longer and longer, bringing about the advent of the so-called "aging society." For senior citizens and patients who suffer from stroke and physical handicaps, the tool of transportation has become very important and must comply with the requirements of comfort, security, and convenience. This new invention breaks down the traditional motor structure, and changes the bulky image of the traditional electrical wheelchairs.

Because the hand wheel motor blends the armrest into its design, it eliminates the original mechanical transport devices and thereby reduces the weight of the wheelchair and cuts down the loss of energy, allowing the new wheelchair to more efficiently use the limited battery power and increase its cruising capability. In sum, this new type electrical wheelchair driven by hand wheel motor will provide new options and business opportunities for industry members and wheelchair users alike and as such is worthy of further development and promotion!

Professor Yi-ping Yangs personal website:

  Copyright 2008 NTU Secretariat

Chinese version