Wheelchair Design Essay

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4. Design Specifications The following are functional and design specifications for the team to follow while creating the wheelchair. Some specifications govern the function of the accessory and how it integrates with the wheelchair on which it is installed, while others deal with the subsystems involved and safety. 1. The final design must require only one arm on one side of the body for steering, braking, and forward/backward propulsion, while being better suited for Jamaica’s more rugged terrain. These specifications are the driving force for the design. The intent of this project is to enable individuals with adequate use of only one hand/arm to fully control the wheelchair with just that arm. 2. All materials must be able to withstand everyday use for three to five years. According to the article “Trends and Issues in Wheelchair Technologies” (Cooper, Cooper and Boninger, 2008), the average lifetime of a wheelchair is three to five years. 3. The overall wheelchair dimensions…show more content…
The redesign will not increase the weight of the chair at all. According to FWCM the weight of a generation one wheelchair is about 37 pounds. Part of the goal of this project is to create a lighter wheelchair by using lighter materials, thus it was determined that having no weight increase was both reasonable and acceptable. 5. The design must not impede the collapsibility of the wheelchair. The goal of a wheelchair is to increase its user’s mobility. For ease of travel and storage, many manual wheelchairs have been designed to be able to fold or collapse, and implementing this feature is important in increasing portability of the chair. 6. Propulsion must be available for either side of the chair. The accessory must be able to be installed on either the left or right side of the chair to appeal to as large a user population as possible. This may entail a design that works on either side of the chair, or a design specifically for each of the left and right

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