MIT SoE — Lord Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Evaluation of Wheelchairs for the Developing World
Currently, there is a disparity in equal- ity between able-bodied people and those with mobility issues throughout the world. A person who needs a wheelchair to get around should not have their life defined by that fact, and should not have constant issues traveling throughout their community and beyond. The problem with accessibility for those in need of a wheelchair has urged the creation of standardized test equipment for wheelchairs. The test equipment will increase innovation and creative engineering, and therefore focus the design of wheel- chairs around helping the actual users and not the customers. In particular, the test equipment will focus on wheel durability, a key factor in the usability of wheelchairs on rough terrain.
I am a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in product design. I am working on designing standardized testing equipment for wheelchairs in the developing world. By creating testing equipment for wheelchair durability, we aim to create a defined standard for manufacturers and designers of wheelchairs. This standard hopes to raise the quality of wheelchairs, allowing more access to opportunities.