With two out of the sixteen Scottish EDGE Fund 2015 winners developing high tech wheelchairs, there’s clearly an appetite for new design in this area.
Carbon Black System Ltd, which won £100,000 in funding, provides high-tech custom built stylish carbon fibre wheelchairs, developed by Formula One engineers.
Freedom One Life Ltd also took away £100,000 in funding for its power wheelchairs, designed to overcome battery life, usability and durability issues with traditional power wheelchairs.
What happens though if you want to adapt or just fancy up your existing wheelchair?
Silvercross, a US healthcare equipment supplier, recently blogged about unusual wheelchair modifications. While the post largely focuses on concept products such as sit/stand chairs, it also includes DIY modification such as a wheelchair with tank tracks, allowing it to be used on all terrains, bike wheelchair hybrids (for people with some mobility wanting to maintain leg strength), motorbike wheelchair hybrids, for that extra turn of speed and one with a built in flame thrower.
Much more seriously, this long and technical post from the father of Alejandro Kalamakuokalani Ako, a four year old with spinal muscular atrophy, explains how he adapted a second hand power chair to his son’s needs.
Style blog Blue Badge Style recently ran a competition with Brunel University to ‘style my chair’. The winners were Backbackpack, a thoroughly stylish side accessed backpack for chair backs, Honeycomb cupholders and Expressions wheelcovers. Prototyping is under way. You can comment about the designs on the Blue Badge Style blog post.
This hack lets you deck out your chair with LED lights and EZ-EL wire. The objective is added visibility, either for safety at night or as a political statement.
Easy and cost effective options include stickers and cushion covers for quick style that can also be easily removed if necessary.
bespoken would love to hear about how you’ve adapted your chair, for functionality or looks – please do comment and tell us.
Image source: Silver Cross