Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Marthony Hobgood - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Cheyne Walden and Bereket Kahsai, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
Wheelchairs give over 30.6 million people (ages 15 & up) with disabilities the ability to be mobile, however transferring from the wheelchair to other surfaces is a problem faced daily by users. Autonomy in the area of mobility has always been highly valued, but it is sometimes impaired by some form of disability. In many cases this results in reliance on some form of external supporting mechanisms. People who use wheelchairs may encounter a variety of obstacles in their daily activities based on their limitations. Providing more freedom in terms of mobility will cause an optimum quality of their life. This project focuses on design and development of a manual wheelchair equipped with assistive lifting mechanism to elevate the user to a target level with flattening capability. The mechanism is based on a scissor lift connected to the respective seat and backrest of the wheelchair. The unique functionality provided includes flattening and lifting the user to the desired bed level and giving the rolling capability to user to move to the bed easily (and vice versa). The project followed the manufacturing design process of: 1) Stating the Problem, 2) Generating Concepts, 3) Selecting Best Design, 4) Building the Prototype, 5) Test and Evaluation, 6) Finalizing the Design. In conclusion, this project addresses the daily problem of transferring from the wheelchair to other surfaces that users face. Future research, could address other problems wheelchair users face, such as terrain, limiting full mobility of wheelchair users on uneven surfaces.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support given by NSF (HBCU-Up) and all others who supported this project.
Faculty Advisor: Jahangir Ansair, Jansari@vsu.edu
Role: Scheduled project, researched current issues, manufactured wheelchair.