This product is no longer available. It is presented only as a reference development project completed 10 years ago.

BonRoll - drive control for wheelchairs

Control of two main motors, one motor for steering and up to six auxiliary motors

Due to its easy and intuitive operation our drive control system BonRoll is suitable for all electric wheelchairs with DC motor (front or rear wheel drive). 

At BONNEL TECHNOLOGIE, we attempt to meet customer´s requirements and specific needs. We apply flexibly our key design, development and production competences in serial production as well as in unique projects, such as BonRoll, a drive control for wheelchairs. In the gallery you can see a sample wheelchair equipped with our drive control system. The described drive control has been developed for this concrete wheelchair, but the customization for any other wheelchair can be provided.   

A special feature of the BonRoll are the two different operating modes "street" and "home", depending on the wheelchair type. In the "street" mode you can steer the wheelchair using two wheels (like a car). The "home" mode allows directing the wheelchair without pivoted wheels by changing the rotation speed of the powered wheels (like a tank). That way, it is even possible to turn on its own axis by rotating the opposed wheels in different directions. 

Both modes can also be used at one wheelchair. 

Furthermore BonRoll offers numerous additional options: Up to six servo motors can be controlled to perform different step less adjustments (i.e. position of the seat, the backrest, the footrest...). Also the lights and the turn signal can be activated in a comfortable way.

A special interface permits the use of optional features as an alternative wheelchair steering by sucking and blowing or a remote control for other devices (i.e. TV) using the joystick of the wheelchair. 

The individual characteristics of the drive control unit and the regulation of the particular servo motors can be adjusted easily with special PC software. These include parameters like the acceleration and braking behavior and the cornering ability. Moreover, multiple servo motors can be linked and used simultaneously, so that the preprogrammed seating position is reached faster. A battery charge indicator informes about the battery level. 

The three main components of the drive control system BonRoll are the control panel, the joystick unit and the main control unit. Panel and joystick are mechanically connected by an aluminum hinge but can be also installed separatly. 

The data communication between the system components is carried out via CAN-Bus, as used very often in automobile industry. A permanent reciprocal monitoring of the system components ensures that the breakdown or partial damage of one element leads to an immediate and safe disconnection of the whole drive control. 

Suitable for electric wheelchairs with DC motors (front or rear wheel drive)

  • Home / Street - mode: Two completely different steering concepts integrated in one drive control
  • Regulation of two drive motors and up to six servo motors
  • Function and characteristics of the drive and servo motors can be individually adjusted via PC software
  • Automatic identification of the extreme positions of the servo motors
  • Pro-active power output control on the basis of electric and thermal data to prevent damage on motors and main unit ('intelligent boost') 
  • Five velocity ranges for the joystick extreme positions (continuously adjustable)
  • Arbitrary assignment and customization of the control panel buttons
  • Control panel features accessible via external switches
  • Active battery level indicator
  • Auto-Stop-Function with interlock on the wheels to avoid inadvertend rolling
  • Capability of connecting and controlling a SiCare-IR-remote-control using the joystick

Main unit

control unit

Main control unit and power electronics for wheelchairs

At the main unit, the signals from the joystick and the control panel are received via CAN-Bus and transformed into correspondant commands for the particular motors. A control loop is checking the power consumption and the temperature of the electric drive unit, and prevents thereby damage through overcharge. The motor end stage is checked at every start-up of the wheelchair, to ensure the right function of the control unit and the installation of the drive motors.

Joystick with control panel



Joystick and control panel can also be installed separately

The panel and the joystick are mechanically connected by an aluminum hinge.  

A display and LEDs provides information about the active operating mode. Furthermore the display shows a trip odometer, the current speed or the velocity mode (velocity range at the joystick).

A chain of six LEDs informs about the battery charge level.

The joystick lever serves mainly as steering control for the wheelchair. Depending on the forward or backward motion of the joystick the wheelchair will accelerate in forward or rear direction. If the joystick is additionally moved to the right or to the left, cornering in the corresponding direction will be realized.

Moreover the joystick is used to select the appropriate velocity mode (velocity range at the joystick) and to control the servo motors for the seat and the foot rest. 

On the bottom side of the joystick-casing are three connector sockets with mechanical interlock. The middle socket is used to connect the control panel, the right socket is for the main unit and the left socket is the PC-interface.

The joystick mounting is done via four drills with internal screw threads (M4x10). It can be fixed i.e. at the framework of the wheelchair. 

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