Initial Consideration of All Alternatives Iteration:
Before settling on an idea, we did precedent research and brainstorming. There were must haves that we had to think about. These requirements include that the device must be narrow, waterproof, raise and lower, go over a toilet seat, and turn in confined spaces. During our precedents research we looked at various different already existing devices. Such as wheelchairs, walkers, hanging systems, Exoskeleton, and more. We looked at each device and wrote the pros and cons to each one and whether or not they had our must haves. We later brainstormed different mobility devices that we could create. We brainstormed three different ways and came to conclusion that a seated mobility device would be the best option for kids with cerebral palsy.
Crank, Pulley, and Track Iteration:
During the brainstorming phase, we discussed different ways of raising and lowering the chair. We came to the conclusion to use pulleys and a crank together. We decided to use 2 pulleys, with one fixed to the chair and the other fixed to the frame, this would allow a 1:2 ratio in the lifters favor. We then moved to the crank. We went with a socket wrench to give the power to the crank. After 3D printing a wheel, the socket wrench fit in perfectly!
For the next model we have some adjusting to do. This is because of different material and what we found needs to be improved. In the next model, we are using 8020 which is very different than the square dowels that we are used in our scaled model. 8020 is much stronger than the wooden dowels which means that we would not need some of the supports that were used in this model. For example, at the bottom of the seat, there is a wooden part in the back that would not be needed in 8020 model. Furthermore, 8020 has a built-in track. As a result, we would not need to build one like we did with the scaled model. Additionally, with the 8020, the wheels would be right underneath the device not on the side like it is on our scaled model. Some other adjustments that we would need to make on our next iteration would be the toilet seat and hand crank. The toilet seat may need some experimenting to see where the ideal spot and size would be. Moreover, we would make some adjustments with the hand crank to make it work better and easier. In addition, we would like to incorporate a foot rest and create caps for the 8020.
We were faced with the task to create a mobility device that would assist the caretaker to maneuver their child around the house. A problem that occurs with many older, heavier children with cerebral palsy is that their caretaker may not be able to pick them up to take them to the bathroom, shower, table, etc. As a result, the person may need to spend the whole day lying in bed even if they need to go to the bathroom. Our device seeks to make it easier for a caretaker to lift, rotate, and position their child with cerebral palsy in different locations within the home, especially in the bathroom. Additionally, our device was tailored to the requirements of Monterrey, Mexico, which demand low cost and high flexibility.
Our mobility device is designed to be able to maneuver in narrow confined spaces and to raise and lower to different heights ranging from 45 cm to 75 cm off the ground. To raise and lower the device, the caretaker can easily crank a rope and pulley system which is attached to the seat along the backrest. In addition, the mobility device is designed to back up and wheel directly over a toilet seat without making the person get off the device. Furthermore, the device is waterproof and can go into the shower. The seat has a hole in its center allowing the person to use the bathroom in the device and allow water to flow through while taking a shower. Additionally, our mobility device has a high back to be able to strap a child in if necessary. The materials we used to make the mobility device are simple, cheap, and can be found in numerous places. The simple 8020 frame can be affordably manufactured. Other parts such as the wheels, pulleys, rope, nylon back, and seat cushion are readily available at hardware stores if replacement or repair is ever necessary. This means that our device will be cheap, accessible, and easy to fix if parts break. Our mobility device is important because it will aid the caretaker and ease the life of someone with cerebral palsy.