Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Manual wheelchair with innovative system of propulsion

Handwheelchair.qManual wheelchairMobility aidPropulsion systemRowing gesture

Introduction

This invention shows an innovative system of propulsion for manual wheelchair named Handwheelchair.q. The innovative system of propulsion is inspired by a rowing gesture in order to avoid the damages caused on shoulders by the conventional wheelchairs. The main goal of this innovative propulsion system is to make easier and extend the movement, reducing time and increasing the supplied power.

Technical features

Manual wheelchair with an innovative propulsion system inspired by a rowing gesture. The movement consists of two distinct phases: in a first phase, a pulling movement, the user pulls towards himself a pair of knobs bound to cables sent by appropriate return pulleys. Ratchet devices between pulleys and wheels spin the wheels. This movement avoids putting the shoulder and elbow joints in compression. In the next phase, recovery movement, a torsion spring brings the system back into its initial configuration to start a new traction phase. The braking system is controlled by two brake levers positioned on the knobs, avoiding the need to brake with the hands on the ring, avoiding possible skin abrasion and increasing its efficiency. The concentric ring is kept on the wheels to allow users to move indoors easily thanks to the compactness of this system. Quick and easy change of configuration of the wheelchair from the innovative system to the ring system, with the support rods of the pulleys that, when folded, become an armrest for the user.

Possible Applications

  • Manual Wheelchair for disability;
  • Integration of the system on preexisting wheelchairs;
  • Application of the system in sports.

Advantages

  • Efficient and ergonomic movement;
  • Expanding and speeding up the movements;
  • Possibility of driving the wheelchair with one hand (joining the knobs);
  • Increasing independence in everyday life;
  • Possibility to practice lightly sports activities in a totally autonomous way.