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Design of a low-cost, reconfigurable, standing wheelchair with easy and stable sit-stand-sit transition capability

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journal contribution
posted on 13.10.2021, 19:20 by Vivek Sarda, Swostik Sourav Dash, D. S. Mohan Varma, Javeed Shaikh-Mohammed, S. Sujatha

Assistive devices like Standing Wheelchairs (SWC) have remained out of reach of the economically underprivileged even before the pandemic-induced financial downturn, and more so now. This paper describes the mechanical design of a manual user-actuated SWC that is cost-effective (equivalent of USD 210 in India, ex-factory) and has special features that minimise user effort and accommodates varying body weights (50–110 kg) and dimensions (1.52–1.83 m height).

The design includes a six-bar mechanism and spring balancing to optimise user effort during operation. The optimised gas spring incorporates adjustability to minimise each user’s force for sit-stand-sit transitions. The handle shape is ergonomically designed using kinematic analysis to provide convenient gripping positions for actuation. The design has been customised based on parametric studies to suit varying body weights.

Overall, the SWC design provides standing functionality with ease of operation, safety locks, customisability, affordability, outdoor mobility and is aesthetically pleasing.

Customisability and the low cost of the device would enhance the accessibility of the SWC to a larger group of eligible users.Implications for rehabilitation

Manual user-operated standing wheelchair design using a six-bar mechanism

Spring balancing used to reduce user effort to self-lift to the standing position

Kinematic analysis used to determine convenient handle location for user ease

Customisability for wide range of users to ensure correct posture, optimal effort

Design refined through multiple iterations using inputs from users and clinicians

Design commercialised at an affordable cost, making it accessible to a larger population

Manual user-operated standing wheelchair design using a six-bar mechanism

Spring balancing used to reduce user effort to self-lift to the standing position

Kinematic analysis used to determine convenient handle location for user ease

Customisability for wide range of users to ensure correct posture, optimal effort

Design refined through multiple iterations using inputs from users and clinicians

Design commercialised at an affordable cost, making it accessible to a larger population

Funding

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (https://wellcome.org/), UK [Grant number 105863/Z/14/Z] awarded to SS. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

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