Disrupt Disability

Project: Wheelchair One
Client: Disrupt Disability

Wheelchairs need to be customised to the body, lifestyle and environment of their user but their needs are continuously changing. How can a wheelchair be continuously customised?
What about customisation for style?

Cellule were commissioned to design, engineer and fabricate the first modular wheelchair system for the startup Disrupt Disability.

Year

2019

Sector

Assistive technology

Discipline

Parametric design
Technology research
Product design
Industrial design
Fashion
Design for manufacture

Ethos

Biomimetism
Lightweight
Affordable
Aesthetic

“The 3D printed seat
takes inspiration from
shapes in nature and
forms of the body.”

The 3D printed seat takes inspiration from shape in nature and forms of the body. Postural support and balance can be adapted to every user, responding to ergonomy needs.

The frame was manufactured using bicycle fabrication technology, allowing for the creation and assembly of bespoke frames. An
elegant and minimal design made to the dimensions of the users, at accessible costs.

“Disrupt Disability
were named as one of
Nesta’s New Radicals
in 2018.”

Aesthetic decisions were strongly linked to the wheelchair’s functionality, following functional requirements, defined by both the user and fabricators.

The project journey encompassed a wide and dynamic research process that included hackathons with wheelchair users, manufacturers, digital fabrication specialists and engineers.
Following on from our development of Wheelchair One, Cellule were commissioned to develop a motorised version using the modular system.

Disrupt Disability were named as one of Nesta’s
New Radicals in 2018.

Project:Power Up
Client: Disrupt Disability

People who use motorised wheelchairs face daily challenges linked to the technology they use to get around. From batteries that don’t last a full working day, to low lying motors that prevent maneuverability and a universal failure of existing designs to adapt to changing lifestyles and environments over time.

Mobility for client Disrupt Disability set us a brief to imagine a better future for motorised wheelchair users, underpinned by research that could inform a strategy to get us there.

Year

2019

Sector

Assistive technology
Transport design

Discipline

Parametric design
Technology research
Product design
Industrial design
Circular manufacture

Ethos

Empowerement
Affordable
Aesthetic
Functionality

“Imagine a better
system for motorised
wheelchair users.””

User-engagement in design is at the core of Disrupt Disability’s ethos. As part of the brief, we were commissioned to run a workshop with wheelchair users. Our team used design strategy to facilitate the development of user scenarios with the participants, and quick prototypes to explain the various functions.

Our design research explored emerging technologies in the automotive industry and wearable tech. Combined with growing
trends for distributed manufacturing and increased levels of customisation for consumers, we developed the concept of a modular and upgradeable powered frame.

“The hub is the
“brain’ of the system”

A streamlined standard fabrication with a decentralized assembly network allow for dimensions, components and features to be selected by both the occupational therapist and the user. Our Hub is the ‘brain’, containing computer and processing components.
Impact, position and environmental sensors on nodules allow for continual assessment of performance and adaptability of the hardware.

This project was presented as part of the
2018 Mobility Unlimited Challenge from Toyota.