The problem proposed to us, came directly from an organization known as Bridge2Africa located in South Africa. In South Africa, approximately 2 million people, aged 5 years and older, are affected by a walking disability. The problem was rooted in the neglect of the physically impaired in rural areas and the lack of IoT integrated within said areas. The project motive also came from wanting to help physically impaired children live a better quality of life. The challenge entails the team to redesign a new innovative “smart” wheelchair that integrates IoT and improves user experience. There are other issues that are not stated but do arise, such as the psychological effects of being in a chair all day. The team is ready for the challenge and to face all the problems ahead.
To begin tackling the challenging obstacle of redesigning the wheelchair, the team decided to work from the ground up. The approach for the team was, to begin with redesigning the wheel for the wheelchair and continuing to build up throughout the semesters. To begin the team finished surveying the wheelchair users’ demographic to determine the most optimal design for the wheel. Once the surveys had been completed the team had drawn up 3D models and begun analyzing new concept designs. The approach for this semester is to test the current designs with a live prototype and begin finalizing the final prototype. Potential solutions include a concept design for an airless wheel that can go over staircases more easily as well as a 2 in 1 design for the main wheels to traverse both indoors and out.