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(Wimp)   Smart guy invents cheap all terrain wheel chair for poor people   (wimp.com) divider line 30
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5234 clicks; posted to Video » on 23 Dec 2012 at 11:23 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-23 10:40:36 AM  
An 11 minute TED lecture? Why don't you post the link from TED--  Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair.

Brief summary:
Amos Winter and his team at MIT built the Leveraged Freedom Chair, a cheap lever-powered wheelchair whose design and develop put the user first.

Amos Winter wants to know: How do you redesign the wheelchair, an essential aid for millions, to be even better, more affordable, adaptable for the developing world, and able to face any type of terrain or weather? The answer is: the Leveraged Freedom Chair. Integrating science, engineering and user-driven design, Winter has developed a wheelchair that uses arm-powered levers that yield surprisingly simple, highly effective mechanical results. Even better, cheap parts means the chair costs under $200 and can be repaired easily, even in rural communities where resources are scarce.

/ $200 for a wheelchair seems like a lot in a world where they are selling $100 computers.
 
2012-12-23 10:49:28 AM  
Here is more on the Leveraged Freedom Wheelchair for the time challenged.

gogrit.org
 
2012-12-23 11:32:34 AM  
i.imgur.com

Not impressed.
 
2012-12-23 11:43:37 AM  
Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.
 
2012-12-23 12:10:45 PM  
I think it's pretty gnarly.

/not being a typical Fark negative nancy.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-12-23 12:17:40 PM  

notmtwain: An 11 minute TED lecture? Why don't you post the link from TED--  Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair.

Brief summary:
Amos Winter and his team at MIT built the Leveraged Freedom Chair, a cheap lever-powered wheelchair whose design and develop put the user first.

Amos Winter wants to know: How do you redesign the wheelchair, an essential aid for millions, to be even better, more affordable, adaptable for the developing world, and able to face any type of terrain or weather? The answer is: the Leveraged Freedom Chair. Integrating science, engineering and user-driven design, Winter has developed a wheelchair that uses arm-powered levers that yield surprisingly simple, highly effective mechanical results. Even better, cheap parts means the chair costs under $200 and can be repaired easily, even in rural communities where resources are scarce.

/ $200 for a wheelchair seems like a lot in a world where they are selling $100 computers.


I would imagine the materials cost a lot more.
 
2012-12-23 01:18:26 PM  

notmtwain: / $200 for a wheelchair seems like a lot in a world where they are selling $100 computers.


Depends upon your priorities.
 
2012-12-23 01:30:54 PM  
www.uppermichiganssource.com
 
2012-12-23 01:54:22 PM  

Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.


MIT isn't some magic lamp you rub to get cool gadgets, you know.
 
2012-12-23 02:26:21 PM  

lewismarktwo: Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.

MIT isn't some magic lamp you rub to get cool gadgets, you know.


Clearly.
But I'm pretty sure a school so amped about robot fighting games could come up with a better wheelchair.
Seems like an obvious offshoot.
 
2012-12-23 03:15:22 PM  

Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.


I don't understand your complaint. I think the point of the link is that MIT *did* do better.

Older people? Sorry, if older people can't use it as well it may be because they're older. That tends to happen to people.

Female users? The advantages of the machine should apply equally to them. If you are contending that their arms are weaker and therefore can't operate the levers with as much force as a male, then I reckon that applies equally to the old pushing the wheels with your hands along the outer circumference.
 
2012-12-23 03:42:53 PM  

RatOmeter: Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.

I don't understand your complaint. I think the point of the link is that MIT *did* do better.

Older people? Sorry, if older people can't use it as well it may be because they're older. That tends to happen to people.

Female users? The advantages of the machine should apply equally to them. If you are contending that their arms are weaker and therefore can't operate the levers with as much force as a male, then I reckon that applies equally to the old pushing the wheels with your hands along the outer circumference.


It's not a complaint.
It's a simple observation.

MIT tried to do it better.
They didn't.
They only did it better for one wheelchair demographic.
There are many.

But they did take a step in the right direction.
Now make it better, because they're capable of it.

Take into account the broader base of people who need such a device and the greater weaknesses they face and make it better.
If you're going to spend the time and the money then make a device that's worth the time and the money, and make one that covers a broader demographic with similar needs, not just younger males.
It wouldn't be worth the money or the effort to mass produce them until they cover a broader base of needs among those confined to wheelchairs.
Just saying, it seems like a pretty obvious offshoot of their robot competition event every year.
 
2012-12-23 04:22:26 PM  
just wondering? was this funded by government research money or just independent thinkers with private funding?
 
2012-12-23 04:59:40 PM  

Popo Bawa: RatOmeter: Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.

I don't understand your complaint. I think the point of the link is that MIT *did* do better.

Older people? Sorry, if older people can't use it as well it may be because they're older. That tends to happen to people.

Female users? The advantages of the machine should apply equally to them. If you are contending that their arms are weaker and therefore can't operate the levers with as much force as a male, then I reckon that applies equally to the old pushing the wheels with your hands along the outer circumference.

It's not a complaint.
It's a simple observation.

MIT tried to do it better.
They didn't.
They only did it better for one wheelchair demographic.
There are many.

But they did take a step in the right direction.
Now make it better, because they're capable of it.

Take into account the broader base of people who need such a device and the greater weaknesses they face and make it better.
If you're going to spend the time and the money then make a device that's worth the time and the money, and make one that covers a broader demographic with similar needs, not just younger males.
It wouldn't be worth the money or the effort to mass produce them until they cover a broader base of needs among those confined to wheelchairs.
Just saying, it seems like a pretty obvious offshoot of their robot competition event every year.


Are you expecting them to make some robotic all terrain wheelchair?

The idea was to build something they could actually use in poor areas. I'm sure they could build a better one, but then the people would be stuck as soon as it broke. And, with this design they could make them on their own.

What makes you think old people or women couldn't also use this? It isn't like they're saying this will replace electric wheelchairs. This is better than an old school wheelchair they would be using otherwise. And, if someone needs more of a mechanical advantage the gearing can be changed.
 
2012-12-23 05:13:09 PM  
Popo Bawa:

Hrm. I haven't seen your type around for a while. Maybe that's because I don't visit the politics tab. But you're painfully recognizable.

The type that feels the need to find faults with your "betters". As if to rise above them by pointing out their flaws. "You think you're so great?! No you're not because THIS! HA. Now don't you feel stupid? Point - me." The big-bad here is MIT. They're world renown for their intelligence and capabilities. Finding a "flaw" with them must feel great, doesn't it?

The problem is that they use some horse blinder tunnel vision and focus on something which has little to nothing to do with the entire point at hand, and then try to force it to apply to the original situation. It's pretty much creating a straw man. They get laser-like focus on something that's not relevant or outside of the realm of the current discussion and then misapply it in order to "win".

Under the constraints of the scope they did very well. They created a cheap wheelchair with improved performance for the located which it was going to be used.

This guy's complaints is like saying that Ferraris are horrible track cars because some people have short legs and others have poor eyesight even after corrective lenses. There are many types of drivers, so even though your car is great for most of them and excellent for the way that it's intended to be used and was designed for, you still fail, Ferrari.
 
2012-12-23 05:41:26 PM  

TotesCrayCray: Popo Bawa:

Hrm. I haven't seen your type around for a while. Maybe that's because I don't visit the politics tab. But you're painfully recognizable.

The type that feels the need to find faults with your "betters". As if to rise above them by pointing out their flaws. "You think you're so great?! No you're not because THIS! HA. Now don't you feel stupid? Point - me." The big-bad here is MIT. They're world renown for their intelligence and capabilities. Finding a "flaw" with them must feel great, doesn't it?

The problem is that they use some horse blinder tunnel vision and focus on something which has little to nothing to do with the entire point at hand, and then try to force it to apply to the original situation. It's pretty much creating a straw man. They get laser-like focus on something that's not relevant or outside of the realm of the current discussion and then misapply it in order to "win".

Under the constraints of the scope they did very well. They created a cheap wheelchair with improved performance for the located which it was going to be used.

This guy's complaints is like saying that Ferraris are horrible track cars because some people have short legs and others have poor eyesight even after corrective lenses. There are many types of drivers, so even though your car is great for most of them and excellent for the way that it's intended to be used and was designed for, you still fail, Ferrari.



You people expect very little from our country's engineers.
I don't expect an expensive robotic all terrain vehicle.
I expect a better design from MIT engineers - the best in the world.
You're also taking it pretty personally because I think MIT engineers can do better with minimal inexpensive materials.
I don't think this design was worthy of a big TED demonstration.
I would have placed this design at the 1st round draft stage and told the engineers to try again, their device was still too limiting.
If it wasn't, then they would have demonstrated it with women, children and older people using it.
This is a mediocre design at best, worth a C grade.
If they want funding to back it, they need better than mediocre.
If we once had astronauts capable of duct taping their asses back from a moon shot (Apollo 13) over 40 years sgo, then we would ought to expect our modern MIT engineers to come up with a better inexpensive, more inclusive wheelchair.
 
2012-12-23 06:03:56 PM  

Popo Bawa: TotesCrayCray: Popo Bawa:

Hrm. I haven't seen your type around for a while. Maybe that's because I don't visit the politics tab. But you're painfully recognizable.

The type that feels the need to find faults with your "betters". As if to rise above them by pointing out their flaws. "You think you're so great?! No you're not because THIS! HA. Now don't you feel stupid? Point - me." The big-bad here is MIT. They're world renown for their intelligence and capabilities. Finding a "flaw" with them must feel great, doesn't it?

The problem is that they use some horse blinder tunnel vision and focus on something which has little to nothing to do with the entire point at hand, and then try to force it to apply to the original situation. It's pretty much creating a straw man. They get laser-like focus on something that's not relevant or outside of the realm of the current discussion and then misapply it in order to "win".

Under the constraints of the scope they did very well. They created a cheap wheelchair with improved performance for the located which it was going to be used.

This guy's complaints is like saying that Ferraris are horrible track cars because some people have short legs and others have poor eyesight even after corrective lenses. There are many types of drivers, so even though your car is great for most of them and excellent for the way that it's intended to be used and was designed for, you still fail, Ferrari.


You people expect very little from our country's engineers.
I don't expect an expensive robotic all terrain vehicle.
I expect a better design from MIT engineers - the best in the world.
You're also taking it pretty personally because I think MIT engineers can do better with minimal inexpensive materials.
I don't think this design was worthy of a big TED demonstration.
I would have placed this design at the 1st round draft stage and told the engineers to try again, their device was still too limiting.
If it wasn't, then they would have demonstra ...


This is an amazingly simple idea that would cater for at least 25% of people who need a wheelchair on a day to day basis.
I work in a place that modifies vehicles for disabled access and if we could find just one product that we could use for a quarter of our customers we would cut our product list in half.

This one here Link for example is a great idea but is only suitable for maybe 20% of people. Does that make it any less of a great idea?

Is this garbage because the wheelchair occupant cannot drive the vehicle Link.
Of course not. Every product has it's limitations and i personally believe that anything that can appeal to a quarter of people needing mechanical assistance to do the day to day tasks that the rest of us take for granted is an awesome idea no matter how simple it is.
 
2012-12-23 06:44:03 PM  
This design would apply to a higher percentage of persons in need in a third world country than in a developed country. Reason? People with higher level spinal cord injury are unlikely to survive in those countries and more potential users have bilateral amputations or other severe lower extremity injuries or deformities. Women, children or other users with upper body weakness would benefit from this design because leverage or gearing can be changed when needed. No such leverage change is possible with a conventional wheel chair.
 
2012-12-23 06:46:01 PM  
This design would apply to a higher percentage of persons in need in a third world country than in a developed country. Reason? People with high level spinal cord injury are less likely to survive in those countries and more potential users have bilateral amputations or other severe lower extremity injuries or deformities. Women, children or other users with upper body weakness would benefit from this design because leverage or gearing can be changed when needed. No such leverage change is possible with a conventional wheel chair.
 
2012-12-23 09:37:26 PM  

butt_made_baby: This is an amazingly simple idea that would cater for at least 25% of people who need a wheelchair on a day to day basis.
I work in a place that modifies vehicles for disabled access and if we could find just one product that we could use for a quarter of our customers we would cut our product list in half.

This one here Link for example is a great idea but is only suitable for maybe 20% of people. Does that make it any less of a great idea?

Is this garbage because the wheelchair occupant cannot drive the vehicle Link.
Of course not. Every product has it's limitations and i personally believe that anything that can appeal to a quarter of people needing mechanical assistance to do the day to day tasks that the rest of us take for granted is an awesome idea no matter how simple it is.



It's simple business.
The idea is great, the product is underwhelming at best. The chances of him getting funding for this venture - and I assume he wants funding or he wouldn't be presenting this as a TED lecture - is pretty slim for a charitable idea that's only suitable for 20% of a demographic in the rocky or desert terrain of underdeveloped coutries.

And I've been to third world countries. Many 3rd world countries. Not all of them are in the desert believe it or not. There are a lot more poor in 3rd world cities than countryside. Children need to go to school, women need to get to jobs too. Such an idea needs to be more inclusive to get funding.

Sorry if demanding better is so offensive to today's snowflake ideals, but if he's seeking taxpayer funding for overseas charity ventures he needs to do better. Not everyone gets a trophy for "just trying" in the real world.
If he manages to get private funding, then good for him. I applaud his efforts. But I doubt it.
 
2012-12-24 12:18:20 AM  
So here's the breakdown for everyone complaining saying, "big deal"

-It takes a normal wheelchair (something that MOST wheelchair users can afford since they can't afford electric wheelchairs)
-It adds leverage to the normal design (so it takes LESS energy to use it, even at the base of the arms)
-It is easily repaired thanks to the simplistic technology (and since most people in this world don't have a tech shop to get electronics restored right around the corner, or the money this is a BIG advantage to the vast majority of wheelchair users)
-Since it as a more efficient wheelchair it is easier for both elderly and women than the standard wheelchair (which is what MOST people have access to anyway and not electric wheelchairs)

It's not a decent invention, its a GREAT invention. It may not cook you farking pop tarts, but it does the job a normal wheelchair does with way less energy expended from the disabled. I say "FARK YOU" to ANYONE who can't grasp why this isn't a huge step for the majority of the wheelchair using population of the planet. People who expect better out of engineering schools are not engineers, they are idiots who don't comprehend what actually goes into an invention. Modern collapsible wheelchairs have been around since 1933, and they haven't seen an improvement like this EVER. I wonder if they can use the "newish" double drive ratcheting tech in it, or would that also make it harder to repair.

-less energy than origninal
-easily repaired in very rural communities
Those things were ALL that they needed to fix in the modern standard wheelchair, and they nailed it. Deal. Applaud. Just quit biatching.
 
2012-12-24 01:28:41 AM  
In Africa I saw these. A variety of models and they worked better than I thought the would.

Link
 
2012-12-24 04:44:33 AM  
The only thing that is painfully too long as that guy's presentation is the fark comments.

But he done a good idear.
 
2012-12-24 10:51:29 AM  

Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.


I agree with Popo Bawa. The technology is there to make wheel chairs smaller and easier to load and unload. A 300lb wheel chair in this day and age is silly. They make folding power chair, but it still it to heavy for our caregiver to lift, and dosen't go the same distances as the regular chairs.
 
2012-12-24 02:29:26 PM  

The Goon Show: Popo Bawa: Doesn't seem very geared toward older or female users.
I think MIT could do better.

I agree with Popo Bawa. The technology is there to make wheel chairs smaller and easier to load and unload. A 300lb wheel chair in this day and age is silly. They make folding power chair, but it still it to heavy for our caregiver to lift, and dosen't go the same distances as the regular chairs.


Sure. The frame and wheels could be made of titanium or carbon fiber composite - but it would be too expensive for people in the 3rd world to afford and too expensive and difficult to repair. And the whole bloody point of this design is to provide affordable, repairable, durable self-transport to people with limited resources in places with poor infrastructure and accessibility (sidewalks, paved streets, etc).

As a person well experienced at developing design requirements, light weight would be one of them, but it would take back seat to the main requirements listed above.
 
2012-12-24 03:06:28 PM  
I have one question of the design they shown, are the people with one side weaker then the other (possibly a stroke or brain injuries they received from an accident) just out of luck? Going in circles dosen't get you anywhere.
 
2012-12-24 09:29:33 PM  

The Goon Show: I have one question of the design they shown, are the people with one side weaker then the other (possibly a stroke or brain injuries they received from an accident) just out of luck? Going in circles dosen't get you anywhere.


No one wheelchair design can accommodate all situations. A more specialized injury might require a more specialized design, or the person would simply need assistance in some terrains.
 
2012-12-24 09:45:59 PM  

MooseUpNorth: The Goon Show: I have one question of the design they shown, are the people with one side weaker then the other (possibly a stroke or brain injuries they received from an accident) just out of luck? Going in circles dosen't get you anywhere.

No one wheelchair design can accommodate all situations. A more specialized injury might require a more specialized design, or the person would simply need assistance in some terrains.


It would be trivial to link the two levers or wheels together.
 
2012-12-25 07:27:58 AM  

lewismarktwo: It would be trivial to link the two levers or wheels together.


Sure, some kind of simple differential to let the chair turn freely, but either lever could drive the wheels forward. Maybe a simple steering system operable by a foot.
 
2012-12-26 08:29:15 AM  

The Goon Show: I have one question of the design they shown, are the people with one side weaker then the other (possibly a stroke or brain injuries they received from an accident) just out of luck? Going in circles dosen't get you anywhere.


If only people were capable of adjusting how hard they push a lever.
 
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