By Afonso, J.A.; Rodrigues, F.J.; Pedrosa, D.; Afonso, J.L.
Lecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science
This paper describes the development and evaluation of a novel effort control system for cycling, which contributes to promote the users’ mobility and physical health. This system provides automatic control of the motor assistance level of an electric bicycle in order to ensure that the cyclist’s effort remains inside the desired target zone, regardless of changes in other variables which normally affect the effort, such as the slope of the road. The system presented in this paper controls the pedaling resistance perceived by the cyclist through the use of a sensor device placed inside of the bicycle crankset, which provides the required torque signal. The data processing, effort control algorithm and user interface are implemented in a smartphone application, whereas a microcontroller on the bicycle is responsible for the data acquisition, wireless data exchange with the smartphone, and real-time control of the motor assistance level. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of the implemented effort control system.