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Student-built wheelchair runs indefinitely on solar power

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  • Student-built wheelchair runs indefinitely on solar power

    http://www.gizmag.com/solar-wheelchair/27822/

  • #2
    .....wouldn't work in England....

    I love innovation and new ideas, but I don't see the point in this. Why carry the solar panels with you? Simply have 2 sets of batteries and leave the panels at home in the back yard. You use one battery all day while the other is charging, then swap for the next days activities.

    [Having said that - I know what it is like to make an invention, and then be sniped at by arm-chair inventors, who assume you did not already think of their "amazing" solutions. It's too easy to criticize, and often short-sighted....so, please take my comment with a slice of lemon]

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    • #3
      Protection from the sun and rain are pluses. I see using it inside as a problem with those panels in the back. I wonder what a good gust of wind would do to it. I could go very long distances if you have the time to creep to the destination. Interesting. Don't see it as a need priority.
      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
      http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

      See my personal webpage @
      http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkB701 View Post
        .....wouldn't work in England....

        I love innovation and new ideas, but I don't see the point in this. Why carry the solar panels with you? Simply have 2 sets of batteries and leave the panels at home in the back yard. You use one battery all day while the other is charging, then swap for the next days activities.

        [Having said that - I know what it is like to make an invention, and then be sniped at by arm-chair inventors, who assume you did not already think of their "amazing" solutions. It's too easy to criticize, and often short-sighted....so, please take my comment with a slice of lemon]
        A home charging station would only work if a powerchair user had someone who could lift the heavy batteries in and out for them. I can't do that--would need two powerchairs instead. So, I can see the point of the onboard charging design. Fun concept.
        I don't have an SCI--I have generalized weakness (PPMS) with POTS and gait problems.

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        • #5
          Sigh. It amazes me that people got prize money for that. Like 55 said that canopy would be problematic indoors and it is not like you can't find an electrical outlet pretty much everywhere you go.

          The thing that annoys me about these projects is I get the feeling that they lack the fundamental first step of a competition meant "to come up with an innovation that could make a significant difference to a person with a disability" which would be ask a person with a disability what their problems are, and then have people with disabilities judge the outcome. We have a large concentration of people here in wheelchairs, would anyone find having a large canopy of solar panels practical and useful?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by t8burst View Post
            Sigh. It amazes me that people got prize money for that. Like 55 said that canopy would be problematic indoors and it is not like you can't find an electrical outlet pretty much everywhere you go.

            The thing that annoys me about these projects is I get the feeling that they lack the fundamental first step of a competition meant "to come up with an innovation that could make a significant difference to a person with a disability" which would be ask a person with a disability what their problems are, and then have people with disabilities judge the outcome. We have a large concentration of people here in wheelchairs, would anyone find having a large canopy of solar panels practical and useful?
            No. I can appreciate their idea and perhaps it will lead to other ideas that are more useful but as for this.... come on, really? Did these inventors take the time to ask users for input? I doubt it.

            E
            There is no such thing as a stupid question but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots. -modified from despair.com

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            • #7
              Great concept!
              Look at the calculators and other small devices that are now solar powered.

              As the motors and electronics are made more efficient, batteries are made lighter, and solar cells made smaller and more efficient (built into the frame or upholstery) this could be part of mobility technology.

              I would imagine a new breed of powered mobility (hybrid)
              Home charge, solar top up, and super efficient motors, like the Prius of wheelchairs.

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              • #8
                nothing brings weird attention to yourself like having two massive solar panels above your head. the sheer size looks like it'll cause more potential mobility problems.
                T6 incomplete - 14 october 2012

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                • #9
                  I think it would break off pretty quickly. Nice try though.
                  C 5/6 Comp.
                  No Tri's or hand function.

                  Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

                  Teddy Roosevelt

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Essie View Post
                    No. I can appreciate their idea and perhaps it will lead to other ideas that are more useful but as for this.... come on, really? Did these inventors take the time to ask users for input? I doubt it.

                    E
                    The article actually says the idea came from an individual, and the chair will be shipped to that individual after being refined.
                    The team takes away a prize of US$20,000 which the team will use to perfect the chair, before shipping to Alper Sirvan in Turkey, who came up with the suggestion for the project. Any remaining prize money will be returned to United Cerebral Palsy.
                    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ~Lin View Post
                      The article actually says the idea came from an individual, and the chair will be shipped to that individual after being refined.
                      Hence, I underlined the "s" and don't get me started on the mismanagement of UCP :P

                      C
                      Last edited by Essie; 06-09-2013, 07:36 PM.
                      There is no such thing as a stupid question but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots. -modified from despair.com

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                      • #12
                        There is nothing at all innovative about this, they bolted some solar panels to a power chair, making a functional piece of medical equipment inconvenient and massively conspicuous... and they won a frickin prize for it?! I wanna know what the other guys came up with to come second to this!

                        Sorry to sound harsh but i agree 100% with T8. This is a total waste of time, effort and money and in no way does it help anybody with a disability.
                        T11 Asia A after near-fatal bike crash.. Just happy to still be here

                        No, I didn't loose my mind... It got scared and ran away!!

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                        • #13
                          Looks like they found everything to build the frame at home depot. I am not impressed at all.
                          How would a disabled person even get into that thing?

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                          • #14
                            Isn't it a lot easier to carry around the charger and power cord than those panels?
                            Seriously. This is useless.
                            T3 Complete
                            to my alarm: "quiet b*tch! I know what I have to do every two hr. Argggggg!!!!"

                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              I pretty much agree with what all of you said. Still, as a "concept", once they made it all about 99% smaller, it could work in future.

                              Then again, why not just become a "Techy Fashionista" and where something like this:


                              Originally posted by t8burst View Post
                              We have a large concentration of people here in wheelchairs, would anyone find having a large canopy of solar panels practical and useful?
                              Of course, you would also need to live somewhere that it would make sense. For us in Holland the only use of the large canopy would be to keep the rain out, and that would pretty much defeat the use of the solar panels. Hey, wait a minute, maybe we could just mount a windmill on a wheelchair, now there is an idea that would work !
                              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).

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