The walk n' wheel
The Walk n’ Wheel is a dynamic invention that's already made a lasting impression on people in our community (young and old). Our innovation gives people their independence back by combining a wheelchair, a walker, and a shower chair all into one! In just a few steps, people can switch between the devices. They will no longer have to rely on others to help carry multiple pieces of equipment around for them! Our invention combines parts from two wheelchairs, a brake system from a walker, and several new parts we created. We utilized a welder to help modify the wheelchair frames (the cross braces were removed, placed at the back, and several tabs in the frame were removed for safety). We partnered with Mobilis, a medical equipment company, for help with form and functionality. We learned about the different types of frames and narrowed them down to 2: titanium (expensive, but lightweight) and aluminum (cheaper, but not as light as titanium). We used aluminum in our prototype, but would like to offer it with both options. We were careful about the materials we used because we wanted to make sure it could be used in the shower, both in the standing and sitting position. We designed a seat system where the seat clips in at 4 places. It is hinged at the back. When unclipped, it can be lifted up and attached to the back of the seat with Velcro. By having everything moved to the back, the user can walk into the wheelchair, hold onto the arm rests, and use it as a walker. The arm rests are adjustable to fit a person’s height. We installed hand brakes underneath the armrests to make it safer when in the walker position. They are easy to operate and work just like cable brakes on a bike. These tie into the brakes on the 2 propulsion wheels of the wheelchair. We also removed the handles on the back of the wheelchair and installed fold-down ones so that it felt more like a walker. One of the biggest problems we had was stabilizing our product. By moving the cross braces to the rear, we made it become a little loose in the front when a person sat in the wheelchair. To fix this, we added a stabilizing bar that goes across the front, connecting the front left and right frames together. It can be kicked back to lock it into a clip on the right side of the frame, so it’s out of the way while walking. It will continue to be modified thanks to feedback from seniors and the disabled!!!!!