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SmartDrive Power Assist Device from MAX Mobility

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    #61
    Originally posted by airart1 View Post
    its va approved already, that's russell rodriguez, works darn good........it's everything u see.....
    does va approved mean it is funded for veterans? If so that is really really great news. Sorry not really familiar with usa insurance programs.

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      #62
      No. It just means that the VA has added it to their list of equipment and that there is a VA price. It does not mean that you automatically will get one. There are still requirements for documentation of medical necessity, and the requirement for a prescription from your provider. There are additional criteria for many DME within the VA system.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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        #63
        Response to questions based on my early impressions

        Originally posted by Gordy1 View Post
        So what's your verdict SCI_OTR...are you keeping that demo, or giving it back?!?
        The SmartDrive is a distinctly different product compared to existing power add-on systems due of its light weight, transportability, ease of installation/removal, and the fact that it the configuration of the wheelchair does not need to be changed to be able to use it.

        We are definitely keeping the demo. In fact, I will be requesting additional mounting clamps so that we have the ability to easily use it on multiple chairs in our clinic (two clamps were provided with our demo unit and I intend to keep one on my personal chair).

        Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
        How loud is the motor? How quiet, or not, is it when it's just "idling?"
        There is no idle. It is either on or off. It is very quiet when the motor is providing power assist. When the unit is on, the assistance triggered automatically when the drive wheel senses a change in the rate of acceleration (push rim activation) or when the user holds the button on the battery pack in.

        Originally posted by elarson View Post
        Do you think it would work equally as well for a hemiplegic who uses one arm for steering?
        This product would not be well suited for that type of application.

        Originally posted by JGNI View Post
        More info available? I guess it would not have traction in snowy conditions, am I right?
        Max Mobility specifically states that the SmartDrive should not be used on wet surfaces.

        Traction is provided by the weight of the drive unit and the grip of the drive wheel. As a result, it will perform best on paved surfaces with only minor surface irregularities and moderate inclines.

        Originally posted by JGNI View Post
        At more than 6000$, it is indeed a hard price to swallow and it could lead to a low adoption rate.
        Agreed. While its price is comparable to e-motion M-15 or Quickie Xtender power assist wheels, I agree with you about the current MSRP.

        I see this as a product that will be selectively used by the end whenever circumstances warrant. Examples would be occasions where the user expects to encounter significant inclines, self propel over greater distances, expects have toto deal with hotel carpeting, or instances where wrists & shoulders may need to rest.

        Given the current reimbursement climate, it may be difficult to get Medicare or private insurance to cover it. The VA will be more-likely to approve it.

        I think the SmartDrive will appeal most to end-users who realize that it would improve their quality of life and are willing to pay out of pocket. Unfortunately, the current MSRP puts it beyond the reach of what I feel would be one of the largest segments of its target market.

        JamesFr, you ask some valuable questions that I will respond to in a separate post.

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          #64
          Originally posted by JamesFr View Post
          did you have a preference for push stroke activiation vs push button activation? especially curious how long it took you to have a feel for it, was it intuitive or how long did it take? so basically how it works is that it acts like an automatic cruise control that maintains your speed and decelerates when you apply resistance?are there any programming options?
          I think that most people would say they prefer pushbutton activation when they try it out because in a controlled environment it can be a lot of fun. During real-world use, both modes are needed depending on circumstances. It can not be programmed.

          The Smart Drive is what you get when you combine the concept of cruise control with Newton's Laws of Motion and apply it to a wheelchair. The Smart Drive's primary functions are to maintain a constant velocity once the user attains their desired speed (by effectively eliminating rolling resistance) or provide "on-demand" assistance when it is needed to overcome increased rolling resistance caused by changes in gradation or rougher surfaces.

          Power will be interrupted when the drive wheel senses deceleration or if the user briefly pushes the button. I found it was usually triggered when mild to moderate braking force applied to the push rim, if the chair slowed significantly up an incline, or when contact with pavement irregularities cause the drive wheel to briefly lift off the ground.

          The latter proved to be a bit of an annoyance when trying to cruise around the block. It doesn't take much of a bump for the drive wheel to lose contact with the ground and every time this occurred I had to react in order to maintain my speed. It was the wheelchair equivalent of trying to use cruise control on a bumpy road while resting one's left foot squarely on the brake pedal. I had to frequently remove my hand from the push rim and reach between my legs to push the button. It was sometimes possible to anticipate these types of irregularities and keep the unit going by accelerating with the push rims while rolling over the bump. In any event, it was infinitely easier than self-propelling the same distance without power assistance.

          Everyone knows that going up an incline results in deceleration, and power may be interrupted while going up a ramp or grade. Ensuring the person can safely manage this situation is going to be one of my main concerns when instructing somebody in how to use a SmartDrive. If power shuts off, the chair can quickly lose momentum and come to a stop. When this occurs, one must either have the ability to "suck it up" and push the rest of the way without power assist, or have sufficient coordination and dexterity to be able to remove a hand from a push rim, get to the button, push it down before the chair rolls backwards, and return that hand to the push rim in order to regain the ability to steer. For this reason, SmartDrive 1G may not work well for some quads and others who have limited upper extremity function.

          I believe they will sell enough for it to succeed in the market, and hopefully we will see a less expensive SmartDrive 2G that will be more quad friendly and address some of these issues.

          Comment


            #65
            Looks really nice!
            My sister is looking for a way to have some power assist on her TiLite ZR. I already showed her the smartdrive, ZX1 and E-motion wheels.
            I know there was a thread here showing all the different possible power add ons. I tried searching but couldn't find it, can someone give me a pointer?
            Thanks!

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              #66
              a remote power button would be useful, maybe something on a lanyard - i would nehver be able to manage fiddling out of sight to find that button.

              jenr, im towards the end of an extended demo on a set of yamaha jwx1 wheels, and am definitely buying them to go on my tillite tr2

              Comment


                #67
                I have a web page showing many of the Power Add-ons options that are available.

                Here are some direct links to web sites:

                Drive Units
                Beach Mobility ZX1 (Spinergy)
                MAX Mobility SmartDrive
                Otto Bock z10 / z10-ce
                Excel Click & Go
                AAT max-e
                Benoit Solutions Light Drive

                Power Handbikes
                Reha-Technik Speedy Elektra
                Reha-Technik Speedy E-Light
                Stricker Lipo Lomo
                RioMobility Firefly
                ROAM E-Bike
                Double Performance Tracker 20 e-wheeler
                Team Hybrid Viper
                Abberate E-Trike

                Wheels / Levers
                Decon E-Move
                Alber e-motion
                NuDrive
                Wijit
                Rio Mobility Pivot


                Originally posted by JenR View Post
                Looks really nice!
                My sister is looking for a way to have some power assist on her TiLite ZR. I already showed her the smartdrive, ZX1 and E-motion wheels.
                I know there was a thread here showing all the different possible power add ons. I tried searching but couldn't find it, can someone give me a pointer?
                Thanks!
                Last edited by elarson; 16 Oct 2012, 5:18 AM. Reason: fixed link
                Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by amyk View Post
                  a remote power button would be useful, maybe something on a lanyard - i would nehver be able to manage fiddling out of sight to find that button.

                  jenr, im towards the end of an extended demo on a set of yamaha jwx1 wheels, and am definitely buying them to go on my tillite tr2
                  A second button attached with a cable that inserted into a bracket on the frame near the push rim would be the best solution. It could quickly be accessed during the incline scenario. The ability to be able to efficiently access both the switch and the push rims is essential to maintain the ability to steer when using SmartDrive for power to get up a up a steeper ramp or grade.

                  Because the remote button would create two buttons, it would also open up the possibility of creating another mode with a slightly higher deactivation threshold for longer cruises where minor bumps frequently deactivate the unit. Perhaps this "cruising mode" could be selected by pushing both the existing button and the remote button simultaneously.

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                    #69
                    Unless it is already a feature, it would also be nice if it could help slowing down when going down an incline by applying resistance to the drive wheel.
                    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

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                      #70
                      Originally posted by JGNI View Post
                      Unless it is already a feature, it would also be nice if it could help slowing down when going down an incline by applying resistance to the drive wheel.
                      Actually, the opposite is true when descending inclines if one doesn't shut off the power first.

                      Decending a grade = Acceleration
                      Acceleration --> Activation of the SmartDrive
                      Activation of SmartDrive = Application of Newtons Laws of Motion
                      Once the maximum speed from the descent (or 4.5 MPH) has been attained,
                      the wheelchair in motion stays in motion until a sufficient rate of deceleration
                      has been detected to interrupt power.

                      .................................................. ................................--I. Newton
                      On a very smooth surface it may keep going for a long time.

                      It would make a good training device for aspiring astronauts/wheelchair users planning on going to the International Space Station (once they are in compliance with those ADA accessibility requirements).
                      Last edited by SCI_OTR; 17 Oct 2012, 8:43 PM.

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                        #71
                        perhaps a remote with 2 buttons? one for normal functions, the other for a deceleration mode for down slopes, both for cruise mode (would this be suitable for cobblestones or rickety pavement tiles?)

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                          #72
                          Originally posted by SCI_OTR View Post
                          Once the maximum speed from the descent (or 4.5 MPH) has been attained,
                          the wheelchair in motion stays in motion until a sufficient rate of deceleration
                          has been detected to interrupt power.

                          .................................................. ................................--I. Newton

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Originally posted by SCI_OTR View Post
                            I intend to keep one on my personal chair
                            nice

                            hey that's really really great site, thanks bookmarked


                            Originally posted by JGNI View Post
                            Unless it is already a feature, it would also be nice if it could help slowing down when going down an incline by applying resistance to the drive wheel.
                            it would be extra cool if it could do that AND charge the battery like how hybrid cars work these days

                            Originally posted by SCI_OTR View Post
                            JamesFr, you ask some valuable questions that I will respond to in a separate post.
                            thanks


                            carecure

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                              #74
                              Good news for Frenchies, the SmartDrive has now an importer in France who is working on getting it on the list of approved equipment that can be partially funded by government.
                              I just asked for a demo.
                              My TR3

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                                #75
                                your right KLD, each individual VA has to have one demo'd and approved at, also to get them to issue you one..........they have yet to start demo'n them at the VA's, don't understand the dragging of feet......but they aren't overly staffed either........

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