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Thread: Students design new wheelchair

  1. #1

    Students design new wheelchair

    August 1, 2002
    Students design new wheelchair

    Associated Press

    LAFAYETTE - Mechanical engineering students at Purdue University have modified a wheelchair so it will fit and lock into amusement park rides.

    The chair, which has two hand-operated levers that control speed and direction, automatically locks into place on certain rides. An attendant will then throw a lever to make the chair even more secure. "It's exhilarating to design something over the course of a whole semester, and see it withstand the forces we predicted," said Chuck Flueck, of Lexington, Ky., who demonstrated the battery-powered creation on the Purdue campus Tuesday.
    Proposed new guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act would require theme parks to have 20 percent of their rides accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines would apply to permanent rides with fixed seats, not portable carnival rides or those specifically for children.

    Twenty-six seniors taking summer semester courses built the "assisted entertainment vehicle" as a class project. The prototype will cost $6,500, about 30 percent more than standard electric wheel chairs.

    The locking device must now undergo extensive testing before being accepted.

  2. #2
    Member cowboyquad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Missoula, MT, USA
    30% more than standard power chairs? I don't know about everyone else but here a power chair with no seat functions runs around $12,000 and mine costed $26,000. $6,500 sounds like a bargain to me and every amusement park should look into this and possibly provide one of these chairs to the disabled who woul need them upon entry to the park.

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