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Paraplegic man creates three-wheeled electric wheelchair

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-07-08 10:03

About the solution

Christian designs different wheelchairs, to make users be able to perform sports. He founded his own company, Icon Wheelchairs. The Icon Explore, one of his models, is a motorised mix of motorbike, tricycle and wheelchair.

The entrepreneur had the idea for this innovation when he was skiing with his wife and friends. For someone in a traditional wheelchair, a sit ski involves a chair affixed to a set of skis. As he approached the areas of loose snow around tree trunks, known as “tree wells”, he’d have to tilt his bike to avoid wiping out. Unfortunately, for a wheelchair, anything more than a five-degree tilt can mean a tumble into the snow, or, even worse, into a tree. Since he always loved outdoor sports, he concocted a bike design that makes it possible to adeptly steer. The device features a parallelogram design that swings the weight of the rider, while also allowing the rider to steer.

Christian had completed his journeyman apprenticeship before the accident. But after the accident, he dedicated more to designing devices. He uses 3D printing and SOLIDWORKS. This CAD tool allows him to break complex designs into subassemblies that make it easier to examine and modify every component within a given system.

“I work with medical physicists who have no idea how to design something or how to build something. They just have a problem, and my job is to solve that problem. It’s kind of awesome because they have no idea how anything is made, nor do they care. They just have a problem. If you solve it with aluminium or carbon fibre or spaghetti, they don’t care, as long as it’s solved”, he explained.

Explore is a three-wheeled electric powered wheelchair/bike. It features a 3000W electric motor, 52V battery, a stainless steel frame, an articulating front end, a carbon fibre seat pan and a kiteboarding harness system. This system makes it possible for riders to power up and down 15 miles of biking trails.

“When you have a lot of parts, it’s easier to keep track of things. With our bike, specifically, there is a lot of articulation and suspension in the front alone, where it leans with an articulating framework. There are 18 bushings in the front. Then, you add in a suspension system that’s independent of the suspension and steering that’s independent of the leaning and suspension. You’ve got a lot of things moving independently that can’t interact with the other system. Mocking that up would be an endless endeavour if you aren’t able to make those micro adjustments or run analysis the way you can with SOLIDWORKS”, Christian described.

More info: http://iconwheelchairs.com/

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2YHC6wu

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

Christian Bagg, from Canada, is a paraplegic designer, machinist, inventor and serial entrepreneur. He became paralysed because of a snowboarding accident and now he creates several types of wheelchairs.

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