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  • SASTECH 107 Volume 11, Issue 1, Apr 2012

    Design of Multipurpose Wheel Chair for Physically Challenged and Elder People

    Mohan Kumar R.1, Lohit H. S.2, Manas Ranjan Mishra 3, Md. Basheer Ahamed4. 1-Student, M. Sc. [Engg.], 2- Asst. Prof., 3- Asst. Prof.

    Department of Design, M. S. Ramaiah School of Advanced Studies, Bangalore 560058. 4- Technical Director, M/S Sidhi Vinayaka Fab Engineering Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore


    Wheel Chair is a mobility device designed for shifting patients, moving physically challenged people from one place to another with the help of attendee or by means of self propelling. The wheel chair is divided into two different types based on the power used for mobility: 1. Manually powered wheelchairs. 2. Electric powered wheelchairs. Manual powered wheelchairs are driven by manual power which are again classified into foldable and non-foldable with or with out commode design. Electrical powered wheel chairs runs with electric power however manual operation is required to operate the joystick for the movement of the chair. The redesign of manual wheel chair was considered for this project.

    The design of wheel chair started by means of literature review to know its evaluation from earlier to the present generation. Market study was carried out to know the present competators available in the market with cost analysis of the existing product. Ethnography study was done to observe the need, the importance of the existing product and to address the design gap in the existing product to the user need through questionnaries. The feed back was taken from different users and attendees, concept generation and design execution was done by the implementation of design methodologies like Quality Function Deployment, Mind mapping, Product Design Specification.

    The final output is a wheel chair which gives multiple option to the user and attendee by providing ease of defecation, cleaning and changing of clothes. Adjustable back rest, arm rest, leg rest provides comfort for the patient while resting. The adjustable arm rest provide ease of shifting the patient from chair to the bed or to the vehicle. Facility provided for keeping plate while having food, reading and keeping water bottle. Additional to this alarm facility is provided to inform the attendee that there is a need of his / her presence to the patient. Validation of the prototype is done and usage is found satisfactory.

    Key Words: Mobility Device, Wheel Chair, Ethnographic Research, QFD, PDS. Abbreviations

    ID Industrial Design NPD New Product Design PDS Product Design Specifications QFD Quality Function Deployment RSI Repetitive Strain Injuries VOC Voice of Customer 1. INTRODUCTION

    1.1 Product Design Product design is the concept of systematic

    approach in understanding the user requirement, existing deficits, possible improvement and inventing new designs through idea generation, concept development, and concept realization thereby bringing newer products and solutions for the better quality of life.

    1.2 Wheel Chair A chair with wheels designed as a replacement for

    walking is known as wheel chair. This is used for movement of physically disabled, elder people, children who have difficulty and are unable to walk. This device comes in many variations like self propelled, propelled by the motor or with the help of an attendee to push. Figure 1 & 2 shows the parts of rigid frame and X frame wheel chair and its parts [1].

    1.3 Nomenclature of a Simple Rigid Frame Wheel Chair

    Fig. 1 Nomenclature of a rigid frame wheel chair

    1.5 Need for New Design in a Wheel Chair At present patients are facing problem while defecating. Patients needs to be lifted up and helped to remove the dress and make them defecate, which is discomforting to the patients in emergency condition. The design of back rest in the existing wheel chair creates repetitive stress injury if the patient is sitting for a long time. The present design of brake needs to be improved for better impact and application of brake in slope area. Arm rest creates obstruction while shifting the patient from wheel chair to vehicles, no solution in the existing design to make ease of shifting of patient to transportation vehicle.

  • SASTECH 108 Volume 11, Issue 1, Apr 2012

    1.4 Nomenclature of a simple rigid frame wheel chair

    Fig. 2 Nomenclature of a Foldable wheel chair


    2.1 History and Evolution of Wheel chair The first wheel chair was invented in the 1595

    called as invalids chair was made for the king of Spain called Phillip. Later in the year 1655 Stephen Farfler built a self-propelling chair on a three wheel chassis as shown in figure 3 [1]. In the year 1783 John Dawson of Bath Town England invented a wheel chair named as bath wheel chair. The chair was with two large wheels and one small one as shown in figure 4 [1]. In the year 1869 patent for a wheel chair with rear push wheels and small front casters were invented, in the year 1881 the push rims for self propulsion wheel chair was invented as shown in figure 4 [1]. In 1900 the first spoked wheel chair was invented and in the year 1916 first motorized wheel chair was invented by British Engineers as shown in figure 5 [1]. In the year 1932, Harry Jennings built the first foldable wheel chair as shown in figure 5 [1].

    Fig. 3 Wheel chair owned by King Philip II and self

    propelled wheel chair

    2.2 Different Types of Wheel Chairs There are various types of wheel chairs, we are

    differentiating the wheel chair based on the mode of power used for drive. These wheel chairs are differentiated in to two types as below [3]:

    Manual wheel chair Electric powered wheel chair

    2.3 Manual Wheel Chair Manual wheel chairs are driven with the help of man power as source of energy for moving the chair, these are self propelled or propelled with the help of attendee [2]. The self propelled wheel chairs (Figure 3) are

    driven by the user by using the rear wheels (diameter of 20-26) which resembles to that of bicycle but has an additional rims know as hand rims are for the movement of the chairs by means of pushing forward or backward. The hand rims are of diameter lesser than the rear wheels. Use of two hand rims at a time gives straight movement of the chair, use of one of the rim gives the turning movement to the chair towards left or right [3].

    Fig. 4 Bath chair by John Dawson and wheel chair

    designed in 15th century

    Fig. 5 Wheel chair by an Indian and first foldable

    wheel chair

    Fig. 6 Different types of wheel chairs

    Attendant propelled wheel chairs (Figure 4) are those wheel chairs which are known as transport wheelchairs that require attendees help for the movement. The wheel chair is designed such that there is no big rear wheels with rim for the moving, moulded seating, light weight, push handles, support backrest, hand brake system. These chairs are commonly seen in airports to move passengers in to the seats [3]. Manual wheel chair are again classified into two types as shown in below (Figures 5 and 6) [3]

    o Rigid wheel chair o Foldable wheel chair

  • SASTECH 109 Volume 11, Issue 1, Apr 2012

    2.4 Electric Powered Wheel Chair The wheel chair that runs by means of

    Electric motor is known as electric-powered wheelchair, this wheel chair requires navigational controls, usually a small joystick mounted on the armrest. For users who cannot manage a manual joystick, head switches are provided and chin-operated joysticks are provided, other specialist controls may also be provided for independent operation of the wheelchair. Motorized wheelchairs are useful for those unable to propel manually or who require travelling for a long distance which creates difficulty for manual operation. These wheel chairs are not only used by traditional mobility impairments but also by cardiovascular patients [3]. Different types of electric and hydraulic power driven wheel chairs are as shown in Figure 7 [13].

    Fig. 7 Different types of motorised wheel chairs

    2.5 Product Survey Product survey is carried out to understand the

    usability, functionality, need of the product, market strategy, different class of users, where used, when used and why used. With the help of Mind Mapping process we can find out the usage of the product Mind Mapping is carried out by process as listed below,

    Why Used Where and who are the Users When Used Different types of wheel chair

    available in Indian market

    2.5.1 Why Used Wheel chairs are used to shift the patients from

    one ward to another in hospitals and from one room to another at home, as a walker for the people who are unable to walk. Figure 8 shows few situations where wheel chairs are used.

    2.5.2 Different Applications of Wheel Chair o In Hospitals, Nursing homes o In Houses o In Pilgrim places o In Travelling o In Sports o In Beaches

    Fig. 8 Applications of wheel chair

    Figure 9 shows the some places where wheel chairs are used in common.

    Fig. 9 Common places of wheel chair use

    Fig. 10 Users of wheel chair

    2.5.3 When Used During Emergency like: o Road Accidents o Fire Accidents o Air Accidents o Maternity emergency o Physical disorders

    In day to day life by: o Physically challenged people o Old people unable to walk o Physically challenged children

    2.6 Market Study Market study is done to understand the product market segment, to know the competitors in the market, to study their product capacitance and market strategy, to bench mark the product. Following are some of the competitors present in the Indian market:

    i. M. TECHNOLOGIES Manufacturer of Hospital Equipments, Hospital Supplie


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