Our research of primary users highlighted the following main areas of focus for our redesign:

    • Difficult to navigate over branches, mud, and other obstacles when off-road
    • Extensive ride harshness when off-road
    • Uncomfortable ride position

Dozens of conceptual design were generated and evaluated using Pugh concept selection. Our final design concept includes the following:

    • Fifth wheel modification allows user to traverse obstacles with main drive wheels and increases ground clearance
    • Duel shocks were added to the drive wheels to decrease road harshness
    • Recumbant seat at 5 degree angle
Isometric view of design concept.
Side view of design concept.
Front view of design concept.

Of the 1.5 million Americans who use manual wheel chairs, roughly 600,000 are working age adults. Despite significant design improvements in the last few decades, commercially available wheelchairs still lack the ability to provide users safe and affordable off-road accessibility. Typical wheelchair users are unable to access mountain trails and other off-road paths without significant after-market alterations or enduring hazardous passages with frequent assistance from others. A manual off-road wheelchair would provide users the ability to travel in limited access areas with increased independence. The goal of this project was to design and prototype a wheelchair for off-road use.

Project Overview