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Attachable Hand-Cycle Device




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#1 dloud

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:51 PM

Hello everyone,

I am an ASU bioengineering graduate student and I have been designing and developing prototypes of attachable hand-cycle devices for developing countries.

I am now going forward with a new design that can attach to ANY wheelchair without modifications, that I can hopefully start selling in the U.S. in the next couple of years. Before I go any further with the prototype, I need to know the potential use for this device in the U.S. Specifically, I need to know if anyone feels the need to even have a device like this, and what their thoughts are on the device.

If you have the chance, would you be kind enough to take a very short survey (8 questions) for part of my market research.

Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P7N9537


Thanks!!!!
p.s.- if you have any questions or recommendations about the device, feel free to let me know.

#2 dloud

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:26 PM

Thank you to the people that have taken the survey! However...I still need a lot more responses in order to apply for grants to receive funding. This product is not only going to be sold in the U.S., but I am currently making a prototype out of bamboo for non-profit in African countries, where I will be setting up workshops in Kenya over the summer to teach engineering students to fabricate the device. So your responses will be helping a great deal towards helping the extremely disadvantaged in Africa. Feel free to pass the link to the survey on to anyone you think would be interested in a device like this. Thanks!!!

#3 Maltese Cat

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:22 PM

I have a few suggestions that you might want to ask people in your survey, or think about.
firstly the extra cushion. most people with sci have their own particular cushion designed to protect them from pressure issues, that adds a certain height to their seating postion. the whole chair is usually fitted to that person with the back height right for them. so your extra cushion would need to go under their own cushion, further raising them up. So how thick is the cushion?? is it going to lift them too high so that their balance in the chair is altered?
also how much does the whole thing weigh? Is it easy to twist the wheel into position while sitting in the chair, or is it too heavy to do that? my previous experience of handcycles is that they are too heavy to manoeuvre into position by the person in the chair.
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#4 dloud

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:24 PM

I have a few suggestions that you might want to ask people in your survey, or think about.
firstly the extra cushion. most people with sci have their own particular cushion designed to protect them from pressure issues, that adds a certain height to their seating postion. the whole chair is usually fitted to that person with the back height right for them. so your extra cushion would need to go under their own cushion, further raising them up. So how thick is the cushion?? is it going to lift them too high so that their balance in the chair is altered?
also how much does the whole thing weigh? Is it easy to twist the wheel into position while sitting in the chair, or is it too heavy to do that? my previous experience of handcycles is that they are too heavy to manoeuvre into position by the person in the chair.


Thank you for your input!! Wow I didn't even think about the fact that someone might have their own cushion already fitted on their chair. That is something that I really have to think about now...what do you think about the idea of an optional cushion? In particular, having the option of the cushion that is included with the docking station having the ability to be easily removed from the docking frame (through velcro or some other means) and replaced with the users own custom designed cushion. The docking frame that is strapped down to the wheelchair seat would still be under the custom cushion, which would add about 3" in height to their seating position. There are other attachable handcycles out there that do not add height to the seat, but they do not fit every wheelchair...and some of them require modifications to the wheelchair. I think that for our device, we think that the ability to fit any wheelchair is very important, so the added height might have to be a design tradeoff when considering buying it.

As far as the weight of the handcycle while twisting it into position, it would be a very simple motion to attach it and lock it in place. Essentially, you would use 2 hands to guide it into the docking part of the seat, with the handcycle not fully upright. Then it is just an easy twisting motion (where the front wheel does most of the work pushing up off the ground) where the handcycle locks in place when it reaches an upright position.

I appreciate your input about the design of the cushioned seat. I will definitely be looking into modifying that aspect of the design, as it seems like that is the main problem that people in the U.S. are hesitant about. The device was designed for use in African countries where people have to constantly travel on rough terrain (making their wheelchair useless) and they have very cheap wheelchairs made from plastic lawn chairs. So that is the main reason for the seat cushion design...it really does allow you to attach it to any wheelchair (including plastic lawn chair wheelchairs)...so I will have to modify the design to fit the U.S. market.

#5 dloud

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:36 PM


I have a few suggestions that you might want to ask people in your survey, or think about.
firstly the extra cushion. most people with sci have their own particular cushion designed to protect them from pressure issues, that adds a certain height to their seating postion. the whole chair is usually fitted to that person with the back height right for them. so your extra cushion would need to go under their own cushion, further raising them up. So how thick is the cushion?? is it going to lift them too high so that their balance in the chair is altered?
also how much does the whole thing weigh? Is it easy to twist the wheel into position while sitting in the chair, or is it too heavy to do that? my previous experience of handcycles is that they are too heavy to manoeuvre into position by the person in the chair.


Thank you for your input!! Wow I didn't even think about the fact that someone might have their own cushion already fitted on their chair. That is something that I really have to think about now...what do you think about the idea of an optional cushion? In particular, having the option of the cushion that is included with the docking station having the ability to be easily removed from the docking frame (through velcro or some other means) and replaced with the users own custom designed cushion. The docking frame that is strapped down to the wheelchair seat would still be under the custom cushion, which would add about 3" in height to their seating position. There are other attachable handcycles out there that do not add height to the seat, but they do not fit every wheelchair...and some of them require modifications to the wheelchair. I think that for our device, we think that the ability to fit any wheelchair is very important, so the added height might have to be a design tradeoff when considering buying it.

As far as the weight of the handcycle while twisting it into position, it would be a very simple motion to attach it and lock it in place. Essentially, you would use 2 hands to guide it into the docking part of the seat, with the handcycle not fully upright. Then it is just an easy twisting motion (where the front wheel does most of the work pushing up off the ground) where the handcycle locks in place when it reaches an upright position.

I appreciate your input about the design of the cushioned seat. I will definitely be looking into modifying that aspect of the design, as it seems like that is the main problem that people in the U.S. are hesitant about. The device was designed for use in African countries where people have to constantly travel on rough terrain (making their wheelchair useless) and they have very cheap wheelchairs made from plastic lawn chairs. So that is the main reason for the seat cushion design...it really does allow you to attach it to any wheelchair (including plastic lawn chair wheelchairs)...so I will have to modify the design to fit the U.S. market.



#6 edlee

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:57 PM

I can see where the location and culture of your intended market would have a quite large effect on your design. In some regions,, any padding at all on the chair ( as in those made from lawn chairs) would be a plus,, so that your "docking " cushion would be a plus.

But,, as said above,, most places,, and users,, are very critical of what they sit on. One other thing to think about, in your redesign for other markets, is that we have a lot of different designs, relative to the seats of our chairs. Some,, or rather,,, most,, have a sling arrangement,, which would need to be taken into account when designing a more or less universal concept. I feel that the best way to approach it might be with a thinner pad that will flex with the seat. If it is kept to less than an inch in thickness, I think it might be managable.
Good luck
ed

#7 dloud

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:23 PM

I can see where the location and culture of your intended market would have a quite large effect on your design. In some regions,, any padding at all on the chair ( as in those made from lawn chairs) would be a plus,, so that your "docking " cushion would be a plus.

But,, as said above,, most places,, and users,, are very critical of what they sit on. One other thing to think about, in your redesign for other markets, is that we have a lot of different designs, relative to the seats of our chairs. Some,, or rather,,, most,, have a sling arrangement,, which would need to be taken into account when designing a more or less universal concept. I feel that the best way to approach it might be with a thinner pad that will flex with the seat. If it is kept to less than an inch in thickness, I think it might be managable.
Good luck
ed


Thank you for your input. When you are talking about a sling arrangement, are you referring to the chair, such as folding wheelchairs? The bottom of the seat frame will be designed to flex with the sling arrangements on folding wheelchairs, and I have tested this out already on a folding wheelchair and it worked very well. Do you like the option of having the ability to detach the cushion by Velcro and place your own cushion on over the seat docking frame? The seat docking frame will be designed to be universal though, having the ability to flex with the sling on folding chairs, or to stay rigid with rigid chairs.

#8 edlee

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:43 PM

As long as you can keep the thickness of the docking pad to less than an inch,, I think it might be VERY well accepted. I don't believe that an extra inch of height while in the chair, would cause anyone much distress. The real key to wide spread acceptance, is being able to leave the docking pad in place, when not using the hand cycle,, without any undue discomfort,,, or ,, ideally,, without remembering that it is there.

Another selling point,, might be that the docking pad could accomodate other devices when the cycle isn't attached. Perhaps a tray/table,,,, or,, for hunters,, a gun rest,,, maybe, even an umbrella. Havinf other options might make up for the slight addition of height.
ed

#9 dloud

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:50 PM

As long as you can keep the thickness of the docking pad to less than an inch,, I think it might be VERY well accepted. I don't believe that an extra inch of height while in the chair, would cause anyone much distress. The real key to wide spread acceptance, is being able to leave the docking pad in place, when not using the hand cycle,, without any undue discomfort,,, or ,, ideally,, without remembering that it is there.

Another selling point,, might be that the docking pad could accomodate other devices when the cycle isn't attached. Perhaps a tray/table,,,, or,, for hunters,, a gun rest,,, maybe, even an umbrella. Havinf other options might make up for the slight addition of height.
ed


I think it would be possible to keep the thickness of the docking pad to less than an inch.

Thanks for your input on the other devices to attach to the seat dock. That is a really good idea and I will definitely be looking into that further.

#10 dloud

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:55 PM


As long as you can keep the thickness of the docking pad to less than an inch,, I think it might be VERY well accepted. I don't believe that an extra inch of height while in the chair, would cause anyone much distress. The real key to wide spread acceptance, is being able to leave the docking pad in place, when not using the hand cycle,, without any undue discomfort,,, or ,, ideally,, without remembering that it is there.

Another selling point,, might be that the docking pad could accomodate other devices when the cycle isn't attached. Perhaps a tray/table,,,, or,, for hunters,, a gun rest,,, maybe, even an umbrella. Havinf other options might make up for the slight addition of height.
ed


I think it would be possible to keep the thickness of the docking pad to less than an inch.

Thanks for your input on the other devices to attach to the seat dock. That is a really good idea and I will definitely be looking into that further.


I have worked on the design a little bit more and you can see it here: http://10000solution...oping-countries

Edited by dloud, 21 November 2011 - 11:56 PM.


#11 dloud

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

Hey everyone! Thanks a lot for the responses to the survey. I have updated the survey with a new diagram and a new question. Can you please take is and let me know what you think?

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P7N9537

Thanks!



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