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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
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