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 Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>