Wheelchair basic 1.JPG

A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, used when walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, problems related to old age, or disability.

Wheelchairs come in a wide variety of formats to meet and offer different larger demands than the specific needs of their users. They may include specialized seating adaptions, individualized controls, and may be specific to particular activities, as they seen with sports wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs. The most widely recognized distinction is between motorized wheelchairs, where propulsion is provided by batteries and electric motors, and manual wheelchairs, where the propulsive force is provided either by the wheelchair user or occupant pushing the wheelchair by hand (self-propelled), by an attendant pushing from the rear using the handle(s), or by an attendant pushing from the side use a handle attachment.

Whirlwind Wheelchair[edit | edit source]

Whirlwind Wheelchairs International works to make it possible for every person in the developing world who needs a wheelchair to obtain one that will lead to maximum personal independence and integration into society. In order to fulfill this mission, WWI seeks to give wheelchair riders a central role in all of its projects and activities. Founded in 1989, Whirlwind Wheelchairs International is now located in 45 countries, designing wheelchairs that can be built in developing countries from locally available materials.

The Whirlwind wheelchairW is designed for production and use in developing countries to empower people with disabilities through independent mobility and sustainable economic development. This is done by using open sourceW design to promote wheelchair production through the development of small shops which are managed by wheelchair riders.

WWI has recently changed it's distribution system to include the manufacture of pre-assembled parts in a European bike factory. This is meant to allow the shops to create a new inventory more quickly.

Ralf HotchkissW, the designer of the Whirlwind, teaches an excellent class at San Francisco State University that involves students in the design process and teaches the use of basic metal shop equipment. He is also a partner of Demotech's MobilitySupportUnits design project.

Sig17 has held wheelchair cushion design contests in the past.

Leveraged Freedom Chair[edit | edit source]

The Leveraged Freedom Chair is a low-cost wheelchair designed specifically for rough terrain[1]

Related projects[edit | edit source]

References and Articles[edit | edit source]

Wheelchair rider injuries: causes and consequences for wheelchair design and selection.AGaal RP, Rebholtz N, Hotchkiss RD, Pfaelzer PF. J Rehabil Res Dev. 1997 Jan;34(1):58-71.

Other resources[edit | edit source]

The iBotW is a revolutionary wheelchair design, but very expensive (around US$26,000).

See also[edit | edit source]

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