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Morph Wheels - Foldable wheels for wheelchairs

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2015-12-18 17:22

About the solution

The folding wheel was originally conceptualised as a folding bicycle wheel by Duncan when he was a graduate student at the Royal College of Art in London. But then he started getting emails from the wheelchair community telling him that this concept would be invaluable to wheelchair users, so he redesigned it as a wheelchair wheel.

The Morph Wheel allows users to fold their wheelchair up into a much smaller, neater package, so it can fit into the overhead locker of an airplane, for example, or the trunk of a car.

Duncan is the co-founder of 7TH Design & Invention, a product design studio where the core focus is to provide a big impact in a very wide range of industries with elegant yet magical new products and technologies. Many designs that Duncan has worked on have resulted in patented innovations and this comes from a design process based on a deep understanding of relevant needs and how to meet them.

After so many people had reached out to contact Duncan about the folding wheel, he began working on a modified version of the design for use on wheelchairs, supported generously by funding from the James Dyson Foundation and InnovationRCA. The solid tire wasn’t an issue—while Duncan had already developed an inflatable version that worked on a bike, wheelchairs often use standard solid tires. "It turns out that, while a folding wheel is useful for cyclists, it can actually be life changing for wheelchair users,” Duncan explains. "There are so many problems associated with storing and transporting wheelchairs, and the biggest problem is the wheel size. For example, many wheelchair users have to store their precious wheelchair in the hold of a plane when flying, because the wheels just can’t fit in the overhead lockers. Wheelchair users often have a very limited choice when it comes to choosing a new car, because many are just too small to fit a wheelchair. If you can’t fold the wheels, you can only fold half of your wheelchair up. Adding foldable wheels creates a whole wheelchair that can fold up for the first time, wheels included. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle!"

More info: http://www.7th-london.com/folding-wheel/

Adapted from: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/video-how-i-invented-unique...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlwtEoXE-oo

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Duncan Fitzsimons, born in UK, in 1982, invented Morph Wheels, the world's first ever foldable wheelchair wheel.

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