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.
Power Up 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.
“Rethinking a system for motorised
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.