All-Terrain Mobility Device for Individuals with Lower Limb Impairments

Department of Bioengineering

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Project Abstract

Many Americans enjoy outdoor recreational activities, including the physically impaired population. Currently, there is a limited array of affordable devices available to the physically impaired population capable of safe and easy maneuvering in many types of terrain. These devices function properly, however, they are limited in dense woodland areas due to their excessive bulky design, heavyweights, and large turn radius. Most of these devices are most suited for on/off-road trail riding, rather than more rugged field expeditions. Preliminary concept objectives were outlined based on the design for a device capable of overcoming the limitations of the current market all-terrain wheelchairs. Desired features include facile compartmentability, as well as multipurpose functionality effective for varying degrees of physical impairment. The chosen design was a self-balancing device. After many design iterations, the final design was built using aluminum, plywood, e-bike motors, plastic, and electronics to enable self-balancing. Along with the self-balancing, the user will hold crutches to increase the potential to stay upright. The crutches house the electronics for motor control so the user has easy access to move forward, backward, and turn left or right. The final prototype was put through a few tests to ensure device functionality. The first test that was performed was a weight test to determine the overall weight of the device. It came out to around 70 lbs, but it is still easily maneuverable by one person. The next test that was run was the battery life test. It was determined that the device shall be able to travel two miles on a single charge, which it did without a problem. The last test to be run was the incline test. The device attempted to drive up a steep slope, mimicking a hill the user may encounter, but it was unsuccessful.