Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Device Helps Wheelchair-Bound To Swivel

Date:
March 24, 2000
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
A team of inventors including a Penn State engineer has developed a device that allows a standard wheelchair to swivel much like an office chair, giving disabled individuals a convenient way to move within their workstations.

University Park, Pa. --- A team of inventors including a Penn State engineer has developed a device that allows a standard wheelchair to swivel much like an office chair, giving disabled individuals a convenient way to move within their workstations.

Similar to a kitchen's "lazy Susan," this device consists of a circular platform (made up of two aluminum plates) on which a person could position a standard wheelchair, says co-inventor Dennis Wess, associate research engineer at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory. Between the top and bottom plates of the device are approximately 500 tiny plastic spheres captured within grooves in the top plate, allowing the platform - and the wheelchair resting on it - to spin easily in clockwise and counterclockwise directions. The entire platform is less than half an inch thick, allowing a wheelchair to be easily rolled up onto the platform or off it.

The device also features a locking mechanism to keep the wheelchair in a stationary position and prevent individuals from stepping on the platform and injuring themselves when the device is not in use.

A third-generation prototype of the swiveling device is currently being field-tested by the Hiram G. Andrews Center, a Johnstown rehabilitation facility operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Don Rullman, one of several who have tested the device at the Andrews Center, believes there is a definite market for it.

"It will enable a person, especially one with limited upper extremity strength, to turn a complete 360 degrees with little effort," he said.

Wess also received feedback from co-inventor Carmen Scialabba, a Congressional staffer who was instrumental in addressing design issues from a user perspective. Scialabba, a native of Butler, Pa., tested the first two versions of the device in his office in Washington, D.C.

In the meantime, Wess is considering the creation of a motorized upgrade of the device so that wheelchair-bound individuals who cannot use their upper bodies will also be able to maneuver their chairs within a small workstation. "It's been rewarding to develop a device that may make life a little easier for someone needing a wheelchair," he says.

A U.S. patent application has been filed. For more information, contact Ron Huss at the University's Intellectual Property Office, at 814-865-6277.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "New Device Helps Wheelchair-Bound To Swivel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324093728.htm>.
Penn State. (2000, March 24). New Device Helps Wheelchair-Bound To Swivel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324093728.htm
Penn State. "New Device Helps Wheelchair-Bound To Swivel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324093728.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins