Smart E-Con Wheelchair | This is a smart wheelchair designed to deliver extreme mobility, independence and user happiness.
My name is Peter Mbiria Maina, an innovator in the field of electrical and electronics Engineering. I am working with a team of creative guys at Voltarent ltd and this our first innovation, Smart E-con (Electric Convertible) wheelchair. The goal for this innovation is to enable the physically challenged persons to be:
1.Very mobile on almost all terrains (including African off-roads, flat surfaces, stairs etc)
This is very important to me because I want to create a positive impact on the lives of the persons who can’t walk due to many reasons. It is about sharing the love I feel for them through creativity, innovation and technology.
This idea developed back in 2011 when a very close friend of mine, Miss Wairimu (She was a Kindergarten teacher) ended up using a manual wheelchair due to leg arthritis. She was a young mother and I could see how much she was struggling coping with her new state. I did an online search for a wheelchair that can be able to offer extreme mobility, independence and comfort and I didn’t find any.
On December that year, I began designing a wheelchair on paper (didn’t have a computer) secretly since I wanted to surprise her. I thought it would take a short while to design but it took longer than expected.
Sad to say, she passed on mid 2012 and it was a big blow to me, she left without knowing the surprise I was preparing for her. I kept working on it and in 2014, I made a proof of concept that I ran tests on.
What We Need
I was able to create a proof of concept using the little I had but to create a full scale product, I teamed up with a three guys from different professions and we need financial help. We’ve designed the full-scale model and now, we are looking for funds to actualize it. We are hoping to raise $34000 that will cater for:
1: The purchase of parts for the wheelchair from local and abroad
2: Tools and lab setup
3: The actual wheelchair build
4: Rigorous test (up-down stairs test, dummy weight test, speed test, stand-sit test, shallow off-road test, tough off-road test, battery performance test, repeat-ability test and user engagement test)
5: Modifications based on user feedback and test.
6: Further test
7: Final modifications.
8: Registration to the regulatory boards
9: Release it to the market through medical equipment suppliers, wheelchair distributors and wheelchair dealers.
What You Get
There are perks which are as follows:
1: Music FreQ-DNA- This is a grand perk since there’s no other product like this elsewhere. It is a lighting device that lights up in sync with music. It is connected to home music systems and it is dependent to music. It simply creates a music driven environment. It offers many colors and patterns, all in sync with music.
2: Personal Monthly Update- This will be done through any of the following: email, skype or facebook.
3: Wheelchair Parts Tagging- This means, the amount you offer will be linked to the part that was purchased with it. A HD image will be sent to you via email showing that part that your funds bought. Some parts will have multiple contributors which is very okay.
4: Live wheelchair test- This will be possible once the wheelchair is up and running. Those who want to be part of the testing crew will have to come to the build station (We will cover accommodation costs only)
5: Each Development stage snapshot- This will be in form of HD photos clearly showing the different stages of the build.
****If we don’t achieve the target amount we expect, we will still continue developing it. Personally, I’ll do everything to see it out there, transforming the lives of those persons who can’t walk or work.****
This innovation, Smart E-con Wheelchair, will offer the following features:
1. Tackle the stairs.
2. Enable the user to stand while being held on their waist and knees with straps.
3. It will be able to negotiate in tight areas. It can turn 360 at a point.
4. The seat has on on-board auto-balancing system that maintains the user at level at times
4. It has a flexible chassis with unique tri-wheel design that will enable the user to tackle areas without roads (African rural areas)
5. Offer personal physiotherapy to the user.
6. Battery management system that will kill tasks like phone charging or auto-balancing and standing features to ensure they get back home safely.
The advanced versions will have all of the above features plus the following:
1. Sensors and machine learning algorithms that will be monitoring the user and even suggest time to hydrate, time to exercise and much more.
2. Will incorporate mapping system (Will consider to form partnership with Google ATAP on their project Tango) to enable the wheelchair map the user environment and via machine learning, it will get to a point it will be driving the user around the house by use of voice only.
All of the above features have been carefully considered based on real user experiences and the results will be heart-moving. Your help in this project automatically puts you on the list of people who made change to humanity.
We are all racing to get more, I am that guy who looked back and saw those people who can’t race at all. This innovation, this tool, it is what will make them race with us. It will first show them that actually, someone, with the help of many, thought of them with love and compassion. This will build self-esteem and they’ll no longer hide at homes, worry about mobility nor independence and they’ll be free to pursue their happiness.
Risks and Challenges
This innovation is like no other and the challenges are expected to be unique. The build will require a lot of time and heavy mechanical and electrical skills. It will demand software programming skills and they are all expected to work in harmony. Some areas of the wheelchair will experience enormous mechanical stresses and even electrical malfunction.
I have been innovating, creating mechanical stuff since I was 7 years and I’ve earned the mechanical skills from many areas. I have as well studied electrical and electronics engineering and have made many projects, one of them is in the perk. Here is a link to other innovations I’ve made https://www.youtube.com/user/Mbiria9700/videos?…
My team of three has persons who have mastered their skills to the core. Mr. Solomon Mbuthia is an aesthetic designer who has designed several futuristic vehicles, Eng. Maurice Wachihi is an Electrical and Electronics Engineer and software developer and finally, Eng. Charles Wachira is an engineer in the field of electrical and electronics and a software developer.
We will outsource some of the advanced skills (Mostly mechanical materials and manufacturing) to ensure we offer the best of the best.
Other Ways You Can Help
There’s no problem if you are not able to support financially. You can help with the following:
1. If you want to contribute on the build of this innovation in any way (ideas, test, actual build, design suggestions, your thoughts based on experience, etc), contact US.
2. You can get the word out about this campaign using Indigogo share tools and you’ll be part of those who played a role in the build of the wheelchair.