It is extremely discouraging for anyone to lose the ability to perform a job they have done their entire life because of a physical limitation. Our client experienced this when the loss of his leg prevented him from performing many of the daily tasks that keep his farm running. While wheelchairs provide people with mobility constraints a way to navigate, they are not durable enough to handle the abuse that our client enacts on them when using them in a farm setting. Due to the downfalls of common, store-bought wheelchairs, our client uses wheelchairs for only 3 to 6 months before components fail and the chair needs to be replaced. There are wheelchairs on the market that are more durable and rated for rugged conditions, but these wheelchairs often come at a cost that is far too high for our client. For example, the GRIT Freedom Chair, designed by MIT engineers, uses mountain bike wheels that can handle off-road use. The issue is this chair costs nearly $3,000, which is not feasible for our client. Due to the downfalls of current options, we plan to design a lasting, durable wheelchair at a low cost. The wheelchair we design requires heavy duty components that can handle the conditions on the farm while still being light enough to easily transport. We will greatly reduce the cost to our client by partnering with a manufacturing company local to our client that can produce the chair free of labor costs. Our solution to our client’s mobility problem will allow him to more effectively complete the daily tasks that he performed prior to his physical disability and sustain his farming operation.
Maxwell Lemerond – leader
Ryan Wade – communicator
Jonah Rosenthal – accountant
Michael Johnson – admin
Craig Cegielski, Eleva-Strum High School