Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 386.36K | Year: 2010
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Wheelchair Drive System Over half of the wheelchair user population has developed upper extremity (UE) pain and injury. One of the activities that likely contribute to the development of injury is wheelchair propulsion. A number of technologies have been developed to address this issue including ergonomic pushrims, geared hub wheels, lever drives and pushrim-activated power assist wheels. While the non-powered technologies have been shown to incrementally reduce demand on the UE, power assist wheels can practically eliminate the demand. However, it is not reasonable to use power assist wheels when powered off due to their considerable weight. In essence, they are powered wheelchairs with pushrim-mounted joysticks. There is a need to develop a light-weight removable power drive system for a manual wheelchair that can be used selectively by the individual to reduce UE demand during the course of everyday propulsion activities. This project will develop a wheelchair drive system to meet this need and evaluate its efficacy through a series of focus group assessments and a long-term use study. As a result of this project, wheelchair users will gain access to technology that will reduce UE demand and hopefully reduce their risk of developing overuse injuries. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Wheelchair Drive System Relevance to Public Health Manual wheelchair users are at considerable risk of developing upper limb overuse injuries. One preventative measure is to reduce demand on the upper extremities during propulsion. This project will develop a lightweight removable drive system that can be used to provide propulsion assistance, thereby reducing physical demand and the likelihood of developing overuse injuries.
Max Mobility, Llc | Date: 2012-03-27
Motorised wheelchairs for the disabled and those with mobility difficulties; Motorized, self-propelled, wheeled personal mobility device, namely, scooters; Push chairs; Wheel chairs; Wheelchairs.
Max Mobility, Llc | Date: 2015-08-19
The presently disclosure describes a motion assistance system for a wheelchair, for example, a powered drive wheel system that can continually drive a wheelchair in a circular or elliptical path. The motion assistance system comprises a mounting mechanism attachable to one or more structural elements of the wheelchair, and a drive linkage pivotable with respect to the mounting mechanism. A drive wheel can be mounted to an end of the drive linkage such that the drive wheel contacts the ground when installed on the wheelchair. The drive wheel comprises a plurality of lateral rollers positioned radially about the circumference of the power drive wheel. The lateral rollers can rotate about an axis tangential to the circumference of the drive wheel in order to facilitate driving the wheelchair in a radial direction.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 382.48K | Year: 2007
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The PVA clinical practice guidelines for preserving upper limb function following spinal cord injury recommends that wheelchair users minimize the force required to complete upper limb tasks, avoid positioning the hand above the shoulder and avoid extreme positions of shoulder internal rotation and abduction. There are several aspects of wheelchair use that lead to these conditions. Because wheelchair users are seated, many of the objects they grab or work with are above the level of their shoulder, such as washing dishes or getting items off the grocery store shelf. Some powered wheelchairs have an electric seat elevator that can be used to raise the wheelchair user up. However, there are no manual wheelchairs that offer a seat-elevating feature. Transfers to and from the wheelchair commonly lead to an internally- rotated and abducted shoulder that is supporting a large percentage of the user's body weight. Transfer boards can be used to dramatically reduce physical demand during transfers. However, transfer boards are not very portable, so they are not typically carried on the wheelchair. As a result, transfer boards are not always available when the user needs one. The ErgoChair Smart Manual Wheelchair is a solution to the problem of poor shoulder ergonomics during lifting tasks and transfers. The ErgoChair allows the seat height of a manual wheelchair to be set by the user much like setting the height of an office chair. In addition, there is a lightweight transfer board stowed under the seat. Users can create preset seat heights, allowing them to quickly set the seat to exactly where they want it. This project will involve: 1) developing a proof-of concept prototype and evaluating its effectiveness, 2) refining the design based on focus group feedback and engineering exploration and 3) quantifying the ergonomic benefits of the ErgoChair through a repeated measures biomechanical study. As a result of this project, wheelchair users will be able to dramatically reduce physical demand on their upper limbs during everyday tasks. ErgoChair Smart Manual Wheelchair Relevance to Public Health Manual wheelchair users are at considerable risk of developing upper limb overuse injuries. One preventative measure is to reduce physical demand during wheelchair use. This project will develop innovative technology that will dramatically improve the ergonomics of wheelchair transfers and lifting tasks.
Max Mobility, Llc | Date: 2015-01-06
A wheelchair including a base assembly that has a first side and a second side. At least one caster and a drive wheel are mounted to each of the first and second sides. The wheelchair includes a seat assembly having a seat and a backrest and an actuator assembly having a plurality of actuators. Each actuator can expand and retract and includes a first end pivotably connected to the base assembly and a second end pivotably connected to the seat assembly. The actuator assembly allows for at least four degrees of movement of the seat assembly with respect to the base assembly. The wheelchair includes a computer that is connected to the actuators and that controls the movement of the actuators. The computer moves the actuators to vary the position of the seat assembly with respect to the base assembly.