Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Emergency evacuation easy with descending wheelchair

11.08.2004


A student has invented a revolutionary evacuation wheelchair that could save lives in emergencies because it has the capability to go down stairs without someone else pushing it.



Health and safety legislation and the Fire Brigade recommend that people do not use lifts to exit buildings during emergencies. However, for people with mobility problems this raises a serious issue as they become dependent on their friends and colleagues to assist their safe escape.

Simon Kingston, who graduated this year with a first class honours degree in Design for Industry from Northumbria University, has come up with a solution to this problem by designing a wheelchair with a tracked roller system at the front to control the chair’s descent and a tri-wheel that allows it to go down each step individually without assistance.


Simon approached staff at the University’s School of Health, Community & Education Studies to find out what equipment was lacking or needed improvement in the health industry. They advised him that, as a result of new government legislation, companies have a responsibility to get disabled people out of buildings safely but initial findings were that people did not want to commit to being responsible for getting another person out of a building using the current wheelchairs that need a secondary operator. As a result Simon came up with his idea for the Multiscape wheelchair.

The chair’s arm lever works in a similar fashion to a ratchet screwdriver which propels the wheelchair down the stairs when it is pushed forward. The wheel system at the front of the chair controls the speed and descent down stairs whilst gears attached to the arm lever and the tri-wheel underneath allow the chair to descend, move along flat ground and turn on the spot, making it ideal for manoeuvring around tight corners on stairwells.

Simon feels that it could easily be adapted to everyday wheelchairs and be made to go up stairs as well which would solve many of the accessibility problems that disabled people face.

Simon said: “I definitely think this could be adapted to a normal wheelchair, I also think it could be made to go upstairs by using either hydraulics or a small motor. The reason I didn’t apply that sort of technology is because there would have been far too much work involved for a final year University project so I thought I would focus on the evacuation aspect."

Carrie Withers, Senior Lecturer for Occupational Therapy in Northumbria’s School of Health Community & Education Studies said: “I think the wheelchair is a really revolutionary idea that could fill a much needed gap in the health service industry to enable escape for disabled people whilst minimising the risk to others.

“I really applaud his initiative and hope that Simon can find a manufacturer for the wheelchair so that it could become available at an affordable price for organisations. His ideas for modifications so it can ascend as well as descend should continue to be explored, as the modern neat design would appeal to a range of wheelchair users.”

The chair has already received interest from disability groups in the North East of England and Simon is hoping to get financial backing to put the chair into production.

Andrea Trainer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.northumbria.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique
23.05.2016 | Rice University

nachricht More light on cancer
20.05.2016 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Worldwide Success of Tyrolean Wastewater Treatment Technology

A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.

The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...

Im Focus: Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.

The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...

Im Focus: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

International expert meeting “Health Business Connect” in France

19.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

3-D model reveals how invisible waves move materials within aquatic ecosystems

30.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

Spin glass physics with trapped ions

30.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

Optatec 2016: Robust glass optical elements for LED lighting

30.05.2016 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>