Pimp My Chair

  •  Hack Details: I use an electric wheelchair to get around, and we have a bunch of ideas for small improvements we could create that would make the lives of wheelchair users much easier. We would love some ideas and help making them happen:
    • 1. Make it hop- up steps and curbs. This is probably the biggest problem wheelchair users face. Most buildings would be perfectly accessible were it not for a single step at the door, and since most proprietors couldn’t be bothered to buy portable ramps, an attachment that could help a user enter a building, or a bus when the ramp isn’t working which happens often, would solve 80% of problems. There are attachments invented that can do this and even climb stairs but if it could be made more affordable it would be a lifesaver.
    • 2. A lock mechanism- believe it or not my chair has been stolen twice, albeit once by someone high out of their mind on Paddy’s Day. Most electric wheelchairs oddly enough don’t have locks, so a way to keep it safe when it’s not being used would be a big help.
    • 3. Luminescence- to come up with a way of making the chair glow in the dark while driving on roads that would be less dorky and provide better coverage than the builder’s jackets (this has artistic potential too).
    • 4. Turbo Power and Battery Saver- some folks at Tog had talked seriously about doing this before. The speed is, let’s face it, just for fun, but if we could find a way to tamper with the battery and make it last longer or invent a portable battery pack, that would help enormously. Most batteries run out very quickly, after 1 hour to 30 minutes of driving, and have short lifespans. Wheelchair taxis are very rare and if the battery runs out before you can get to a bus stop you are in big trouble. Once the gardai had to give me a lift home in their van at night after last bus with no battery to get home. All these small improvements would make a huge difference to wheelchair users, and you are welcome to my chair as a test dummy.
  • What you need to make it happen: Additional Metaphor to Brain Juices: From a 5 year old in the book Room “when I tell her what I’m thinking and she tells me what she’s thinking, our each ideas jump into each other’s head, like coloring blue crayon on top of yellow that makes green” Green means Go Make!
  • Name: Maryam and Jules
One comment on “Pimp My Chair
  1. Brian Nitz says:

    Do chairs still use deep-cycle lead acid batteries? They are easy to get with a decent cost/weight/energy rating but lithium batteries are about 1/3rd the weight for the same energy. I like your ideas and am looking forward to seeing what you and others are able to accomplish with this meeting of minds!

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