One of the most conspicuous symbols of growth of mankind is equal opportunity for everyone. Apart from embracing feminism, this also includes a proper support structure for people with physical disability. Rather than reserving opportunities for people with disability, it is always better to improve their capability. In most of the cases, their disability makes it difficult for them to move from one place to another. However, there are many designers that are focusing on this very aspect of the problem. To help the disabled, they are coming up with innovative wheelchair ideas. Free4 concept wheelchair is one such innovation. Here’s what it is all about.
Free4 concept wheelchair
Free4 is an active wheel chair concept aimed at significantly improving the lifestyle of handicapped persons. Its two interesting variants have been specifically designed to offer greater mobility, freedom and independence. The Everyday variant distributes weight over four wheels making Free4 highly stable for short distance downtown stroll. The front wheels can also be raised slightly in this mode to overcome minor obstructions.
When converted to Leisure mode the front castors combine to form a double wheel making the wheelchair perfect for unsteady paths such as woodlands, gravel or grass. Also due to the lower sitting position, the user does not run the risk of losing traction due to vibration. To increase safety the user can either lower or tip up the wheelchair at the front using a pivot point near the axle.
The make Free4 easy to propel the wheelchair’s wheels have been fitted with ergonomic hand rims that have flat instead of a rounder rim. The wheelchair has a three-step folding frame and a seat in which the entire pack gets folded for easy transportation.
Via: James Dyson Awards
Some more innovations similar to Free4 concept wheelchair
1. THE HELPER mobility aid
The main purpose of HELPEr mobility aid is to help people suffering from both muscular and joints pain. It could be due to growing age or accidents. “The Helper” from Baita Design is a two-wheel-support that eliminates the use of a wheelchair and encourages the people to stand and walk on their own feet. Featuring a strong frame of anodized aluminum and seat in foam, the mobility aid supports the body weight. Moreover, it relieves pressure from joints or bones while accomplishing your routine tasks. Sitting comfortably on its anatomical foam seat that adjusts to suit people with dissimilar body built. Furthermore, users can steer it by both the movement of the hips or using the handlebar. At the same time, a lateral support lets it stands alone.
Moreover, The Helper integrates a container with a nylon bag below the seat to store and transport it (when disassembled) with ease. The mobility aid adds mobility to the disabled, both temporary and permanent. In addition, it also restores a sense of independence and self-confidence to take on the challenges of life.
2. ‘Two Way Wheelchair’ concept
Quite often, this leads to a lot of frustration on their part as they are unable to move around without any assistance. In case such people need to use the toilet, it becomes an abominable task for them as they are unable to do so without another person’s assistance. Although, the distances being covered are very minimal, say from the wheelchair to the bed or from the wheelchair to the toilet, but then the task of moving from the chair is a big thing.
Designers Han Jaeseok and Lee Kyoungmin, winners of the Red Dot award, have devised a concept called the “Two Way Wheelchair” to ensure maximum agility for the user. The chair comprises of the main body frame, the seat frame, the seat and the front and the back wheels. As the seat can be raised and lowered, it provides maximum support to the user while getting off from the chair. If the user wants to get on or off the chair, they can do so from the rear of the wheelchair.
The chair uses a very convenient, simple style and has been made in the best possible way. Making use of an eco friendly vegetable leather seat, the rest of the body has been made out of carbon fiber making the body light and strong at the same time. Being space friendly, the chair can be separated and folded according to convenience.
3. Smart robotic wheelchair
The robotic wheelchair is designed to ensure free and easy navigation for the physically impaired through public spaces without asking help. Researchers at Saitama University’s Human-Robot Interaction Center have developed a smart wheelchair that circumvents the need for the disabled to ask for direction or someone else to show them the way around.
The wheelchair is equipped with a camera and a laser sensor that instead of tracking its surroundings simply locks itself onto a nearby human companion and follows them around. Any change in the direction is sensed by the change in the position of the shoulders. Being field tested there is no word around on its commercial version.
4. Wheelchair doubles as car’s seat
The vehicle aims straight at the people who seem to have the most need for an “extension of their bodies.” This vehicle is trying to solve a small part of this problem by offering independent transportation. The locomotor-disabled vehicle comes with a rear wheelchair entrance, tubular chassis, hand commands, low height trunk and specific ergonomics for the disabled.
The disabled person enters the vehicle from the back with the help of a special wheelchair. The wheelchair collapses to double as the car’s seat and is fastened down to the floor of the car. The tubular chassis of the car comes with a luggage compartment. The body of the car is made from composite materials to keep the price reasonable for a limited run.
Wheelchairs for the physically challenged are not new. Lately, we have spotted a range of industrial and furniture designs that aim to make their life more delightful and comfy. One of the major problems with the wheel chairs is the complexity involved with moving to and from the wheelchair. The RollingTransfer by Micah Gregg looks to the perfect solution to the same. Featuring 16 injection molded rollers, 2 molded handles, 2 end caps and 2 aluminum rails, the RollingTransfer can be used as a training board. The angled ends allows the user to effortlessly get on and off, even around the narrow area of the wheels. This transfer board comes with removable back for the just right support. The RollingTransfer is quite lightweight and compact, so it can be transported from one place to another with utmost ease. More pics of the RollingTransfer after the jump.