A NOVEL SPRING-CLUTCH STABILIZER TO AID WHEELCHAIR USERS IN TRAVERSING ENVIRONMENTAL BARRIERS

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$29,999.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
14158
Agency Tracking Number:
14158
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Triangle Research & Developmnt (Currently Triangle Research and Development Corporation)
P O Box 12696, Res Triangle Park, NC, 27709
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
John L Duncan
Project Engineer
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A PHASE I PROGRAM IS PROPOSED TO DEVELOP A FRONT CASTER STABILIZING DEVICE THAT, WHEN INSTALLED ONTO A COMMON WHEELCHAIR TO VEER DOWNHILL WHEN TRAVERSING A SLOPE WAS IDENTIFIED IN A NATIONAL REPORT ON TECHNOLOGY FOR THE HANDICAPPED AS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM FOR WHEELCHAIR MOBILITY. COMBATING THIS TENDENCY CAN EXHAUST INDIVIDUALS PROPELLING A WHEELCHAIR ACROSS A SLOPE AS SLIGHT AS TWO DEGREES REQUIRES TWICE THE ENERGY AS A LEVEL SURFACE. MUCH EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE BY GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE GROUPS TO INSURE THAT FACILITIES ARE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PHYSICALLY DISABLED. HOWEVER, WHEELCHAIR USERS STILL MUST EITHER PROPEL THEMSELVES OR BE PUSHED ACROSS SLOPED SIDEWALKS, PARKING LOTS, OR ACCESS RAMPS. EVEN THESE MINOR SLOPES CAN INDUCE THE DOWNHILL TURNING TENDENCY. THE PROPOSED STABILIZING DEVICE WOULD ELIMINATE THIS TENDENCY AND INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE WHEELCHAIR, REDUCE THE FATIGUE OF THE PATIENT OR ATTENDANT, CREATE A SAFER, MORE EASILY CONTROLLED WHEELCHAIR, AND INSTANTLY "REMOVE" A COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL BARRIER. THE STABILIZER COULD FIND UNIVERSAL APPLICATION AMONG THE GROWING POPULATION OF ACTIVEWHEELCHAIR USERS. IN ADDITION, IT COULD ALSO BE ADAPTABLE TO OTHER VEHICLES THAT USE SWIVELING CASTERS, SUCH AS GROCERY CARTS AND LOADING DOCK TROLLEYS. THIS PHASE I FEASIBILITY STUDY WILL SHOW THAT THE TECHNOLOGY OF A SPRING-CLUTCH STABILIZER IS ABLE TO ADDRESS ONE OF THE NEEDS FELT BY WHEELCHAIR USERS. A NUTS-AND-BOLTSAPPROACH WILL BE TAKEN TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY IN THE PHASE I AND A SCIENTIFIC STUDY WILL BE DONE IN THE PHASE II TO DETERMINE ACCURATE FORCES INVOLVED AND MATERIALS NEEDED.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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