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Project Information / Information sur le projet
Possible technologies involved / Technologies possibles impliquées: Machining, 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics
Project Type / Type de projet : General
Expected prototype budget / Budget prévu pour le prototype: Not available
Expected project cost / Coût prévu du projet cost: $150
Client Information / Information sur le client
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Project background / Contexte du projet
Wheelchairs are often equipped with a way of hanging a backpack or some bag on the back of the chair for transporting items. The current arrangement requires the user to reach back over their shoulder to grab the backpack and manually bring it forward to get at the contents but this needs employment of an arm motion and a hand and wrist action that many wheelchair users do not possess. Alternatively, someone would do this for them, also often not possible, The device envisaged would accomplish the following: 

  • Bring the backpack where the contents can be reached
  • Be able to hold the normal weight of a laptop and books
  • Operate as close to the wheelchair as possible and not swing out to hit objects
  • Be compact enough to go through doors with the same space requirements as the chair (except when bag is moved forward)
  • Be adaptable and flexible enough to work on a variety of models of wheelchair with mounting to respect wheelchair warranty
  • Operate as a powered unit with a motor, power source and controls to move the backpack forward and back
Your task is to design a system to transfer a backpack from the back of the wheelchair to far enough forward on the side of the chair for use by persons in wheelchairs who need to readily access the contents of their backpack. The device should meet the needs listed above. This operation should be a straight-forward overall and respect warranty requirements regarding installation (e.g. no drilling to mount components). It should also operate in a confined space and take into consideration any possible injury it could cause while moving.

Some good prototypes were developed in the Winter 2023 semester for manual operation. Now your task is to automate that system for users who do not have the strength/dexterity to operate it manually. This would be installed on power chairs. The mounting system also needs to be improved to be more reliable and adjustable for different chairs.

Past attempts / Tentatives précédentes
Although there are prototype versions of bag transfer systems developed for manual and power wheelchairs they have limitations based on the weight of the bag that can be transferred, complicated parallel arm structure, and awkward and specific wheelchair mounting requirements and motor operation (if needed). Each unit is created for a unique type of wheelchair of which there are many versions and sizes ranging from child to adult.

Linked Project proposal / Proposition de projet liée

Wheelchair Backpack Transfer Device- Powered
Aug 1 2022

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