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Locations of 2008 partner workshops

Screw preload

Directions of NO motion


Coupling used: double angle iron


Screw preload


Directions of NO motion

Not used: double U-stock coupling (under-constrained)

WHEELCHAIR DESIGN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIESOffered spring 2008 – 9 credits, meets TR3-4pm

Class project development cycle

  • Motivation:Show students how they can use technology to improve the lives of others by advancing wheelchair technology

  • Activities of studentsin the class:

  • Learn the technical, social, and economic factors preventing appropriate wheelchair technology from being implemented

  • Study engineering, business, and biomechanics theory in context of wheelchairs

  • Work in teams, collaborating with developing country partners and wheelchair specialists, to design and prototype wheelchair technology

  • Interact with faculty, professional, and community partners during guest lecturers

  • Participate in summer fellowships in developing countries to implement class projects

Locations of 2008partner workshops


1. Define projects with workshops (Aug-Sept)


Wheelchair experts

Students travel toworkshops

3. Test and implement (June-July)

2. Develop ideas and prototype (Feb-May)

2007 class projects

Two-speed tricycleObjective: Improve functionality, comfort, and efficiency of tricyclesImplemented in: APDK, Kenya; DAGE, Mobility Care, Tanzania

Folding 3-wheeled wheelchairObjective: Modify the popular African-made three-wheeler to have a folding frame for easier transport in busses, car trunk, etc Implemented in: Mobility Care, KCMC Wheelchair Workshop, Tanzania

APDK model

  • How it works

  • Pedal forwards: figure-8 ratchets and you drive normally

  • Pedal backwards: normal chain ratchets at wheel and figure-8 chaindrives forward

Normal side

Figure-8 side

Full prototype

DAGE/Mobility Care model

Normal side

Figure-8 side

Full prototype

Improved tricycle frame designObjective: Best use local materials to make tricycle frame stronger, lighterImplemented in: APDK, Kenya (elements of project used, but not full frame)

Marketing strategies for local workshopsObjective: Increase exposure of workshops’ mobility products, educate usersImplemented in: Mobility Care, KCMC Wheelchair Workshop, Tanzania

Material comparison for tube stock sizes


CAD Model

Logo design


Info packet for wheelchair users

Manual for making a FREE website from an internet café

DAGE/Mobility Care model

Elements used in Kenya