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Wijit - lever drive & braking system for manual wheelchairs

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2016-02-02 10:49

About the solution

Initially paralyzed from the neck down, Brian was confined to and dependent upon wheelchairs. One day in rehab, Brian sat staring at a water fountain, unable to propel his chair forward to get a drink. Becoming increasingly frustrated about his inability to move his wheelchair, he had an epiphany that adding a lever to a wheelchair could solve his and other disabled peoples mobility challenges.

“To be able to drive a wheelchair was impossible for me,” says Watwood. “I couldn’t feel it with my arms and hands.”

And this is how he got the idea for Wijit.

Watwood, who dabbled in mechanics when he was growing up, had no formal engineering training, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his big idea. He invested his own money in the project. Then, Brian spent three-and-a-half years working with designers and engineers to develop a prototype.

The inventor began selling Wijits in 1997, and the product has gone through several redesigns since then. He took the frame-based Wijit off the market for more than five years, and launched the new wheel-based Wijit in 2006.

What about you, do you have any solutions? Please share them with the Patient Innovation community!

More info: http://www.innovationshealth.com/products/wijit/

Adapted from: http://news.ucsc.edu/2011/10/review-fall-2011-alumni-watwood-taylor.html

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.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Brain Watwood, born in 1959, in USA, was a multi-sport athlete and professional skier, until he got disabled after an automobile accident while cycling, in 1987. He created Wijit, a lever-operated driving and braking device that attaches to manual wheelchairs.

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