Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Smartdrive for weak or one arm

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Smartdrive for weak or one arm

    I am a double leg + one arm amputee using folding chair with one arm dual rim drive. My experience might be relevant for others who have less-than-para strength.

    I had a loan of the SD for a week and think I'll get one but as the battery doesn't fit attached under the seat I need a solution to attach there. The battery was hung on the backrest push handles and the weight behind me is a problem and I think it puts undue stress on the backrest poles and the folding hinges. A friend has a fixed frame and the crossbar stops the battery fitting so the same solution would be necessary for him.

    Also, as a fail safe for a button malfunction is to pull the battery cable, this is not possible with battery behind.

    Features that I think are necessary for the device to give optimal assistance:

    1. A brake function. The added weight made it difficult to control the chair on steep declines (motor off of course). Hills I would sail down confidently and safely became hard on my hand and arm.

    2. A button press to boost the speed increment. On a steeper hill I could not give enough push to kick it up.

    3. A sensor to identify the change from up to downhill in outdoor mode, and slows or shuts off the motor. Pressing the button to halt outdoor mode has to be timed precisely at a sharp change. An example is a steep rise before a kerb ramp ... I stopped the drive before the top of the rise then couldn't push to get it going again. As in #2 a button press to give a short boost would have worked.

    4. A less sensitive indoor mode. In an open space that has changes in gradient or surface like a ramp or hard to thick carpet it sensed as braking so stops the motor. Also holding the push rim to change direction stops the motor.

    5. A constant speed mode. This is for example crossing a road. Going down a kerb ramp kicks up the speed to more than necessary and safe but the drive is needed for the rise of a cambered road. Then the fall to a kerb ramp needed button presses.

    Some or all of these might be in future releases of the drive. I'll be paying attention to developments.

    #2
    FWIW, I'll make some comments.
    1. I'd think the drag of the motor would offset the weight. I absolutely do notice the motor behind my chair when it is not pushing as my 3D Quickie chair is very easy to push.
    2. The software was setup that way at one time, I liked it too.
    3. Modifying the switch to a better type helped me.
    4. Instead of brake steering, I push the opposite side rim, that way the motor does not sense any braking. That would work for you half the time if I understand your situation.
    5. I usually use indoor mode everywhere, but yesterday decided to kick ass now that I can control it again. I'll be honest, I pulled the plug to stop when I got to my van parked on the street. This thing rocks and takes some practice.

    I don't understand why the battery does not fit under the seat of a folding chair.
    What chair do you have?
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm a ZX1 user. Tried the SmartDrive for 3 weeks, about 2 years ago. I know there have been improvements since then, but I did have trouble stopping it with 2 hands on wheelchair push rims. I think they have improved things. In your situation if a quick stop was needed, would the stop button be enough or would you grab the dual push rim?
      I went with the zx1 as I needed more help, including reverse for tight spots where I needed to back up. Also, I have a van with a lift - the ZX1 weighs about 60 or 70 pounds. I really love it as it has expanded my ability to function outdoors. Got snow tires and it zips through one or two inches. I don't use it indoors - I sit in rigid chair.

      Comment


        #4
        Triumph, the ZX1 and similar are too heavy as I take my chair in the car independently. Likewise other power options, which anyway aren't applicable to one-arm drive, and also stay on the chair ... I like the manual-only in a lot of situations.

        Nonoise,

        1. The weight on the level is noticeable but the chair is maneuverable turning etc OK until the motor kicks in.
        2. Hmmm. I wonder why the took it away!
        3. The switch type is no problem, I just want a second or third one with the other (missing) functions.
        4. With the one-arm drive turning other than a curve (for me) requires a bit of firm gripping of one of the double rims and pulling backwards on one of them for a tighter turn.
        Unnumbered, now 6. The top V of the folding crossbrace is in the way of the battery sliding all the way back. The same is true of my friend's fixed chair as space between his camber bar and the seat is too narrow for the battery to fit.

        Comment


          #5
          2. Software and hardware changes, upgrades have been made in response to customer requests. Originally there was only one button which was mounted, fixed to the battery and only one mode, comparable to the indoor mode.
          4. You need to slow down for a tight turn anyway. I was talking about long sweeping turns.
          5. What is number 5?
          6. I have two Quickie 2's that I tried the battery on. The battery fits, slides all the way back. But it does rest on the V cross member as you mention when I sit on the cushion. I don't know how serious an issue it would be. My slings are both very loose. How about your's? Did you know they are adjustible?
          I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

          Comment


            #6
            5 was constant speed. No further comment needed. Although now you mention it indoor mode didn't like the changes in gradient.

            6. The seat isn't too saggy and I can tighten it. Still the V is too tight. I have an idea to overcome that which I'm going to work through with the supplier.

            Comment


              #7
              I was told by rep at show that SD could be hung by slip-on bracket from chair sling, or hung with its own sling attached to seat sides. With a solid seat, I think the latter is only possibility. Might it work for folding chair also? Then length of SD sits crosswise. Not sure what that does to emergency access to battery cable.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by WaveWolf View Post
                I was told by rep at show that SD could be hung by slip-on bracket from chair sling, or hung with its own sling attached to seat sides. With a solid seat, I think the latter is only possibility. Might it work for folding chair also? Then length of SD sits crosswise. Not sure what that does to emergency access to battery cable.
                I think I understand your question. It's not likely you can put the battery crosswise unless your chair is wide. It is 15 inches long with wires sticking out both ends. Build or find a cardboard box 15x6x2 inches square and see where you can fit it remembering it weighs about 10 pounds.
                I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for responding! Yes, you'd have to have a pretty wide chair to accommodate. Mine is a 16" seat, which means 13.5" between seat bars--not enough for what I said. I think sling is meant to be attached to seat side bars to suspend battery in normal front-to-back position. I always forget to quote the person I am replying to, who needed to attach battery to Icon or folding chair if I'm remembering right. I believe Jeff Adams has worked this out now with Max Mobility, to accommodate use of SmartDrive with Icon. BTW, I love reading your workarounds for technical problems--you must be an engineer!!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks, I'm retired. You might consider version two with the battery built in the drive unit, no need to mount it separately.
                    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I am going to call to learn more about the combined unit--Max Mobility's website does not have this version shown yet. Seems as if the MX1 was the Indoor only version, with push button on front of battery--this is what I demo-ed, and it was quite easy to use and worked well outdoors on a steep slope. The MX1+ has a second Outdoor option, and switches attach to seat side bars; I think this upgrade was made available on MX1. The MX2 seems to have only Indoor option, with Bluetooth wrist control that taps to operate. Without this forum, how can one make an informed decision?!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Go back and re view the recently posted video in the other thread. MX2 is for use both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors mode just meant that that unit would overide the accelerometer and would not sense bumps to turn off. It's a feature I don't like without an easy off switch, which it appears MX2 now has whether or not it has that senseless mode or not. Let us know what you learn.
                        I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by nonoise View Post
                          Go back and re view the recently posted video in the other thread. MX2 is for use both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors mode just meant that that unit would overide the accelerometer and would not sense bumps to turn off. It's a feature I don't like without an easy off switch, which it appears MX2 now has whether or not it has that senseless mode or not. Let us know what you learn.
                          I spoke to a customer service rep at SmartDrive today, not Mark Richter. She was very patient in answering my questions, and I will share all here!

                          MX1 no longer offered, had switch on battery and battery separate from drive. Only indoor mode.
                          MX1+ has two velcro-on switches for seat side bars. Battery separate from drive, total weight 23 lbs (8 + 11?). Two modes, indoor and outdoor: indoor can be turned off by grabbing handrims, but must hit switch to turn off outdoor.
                          MX2 has wrist-worn Bluetooth bump switch (3 sizes included), usually hit on handrim. Integrated design, battery inside drive (user changeable). At extra cost, there is a Power Boost option. Total weight 13.5 lbs! Only outdoor mode, but intended for safe indoor use--speed controlled by strength of push. If Bluetooth stops "communicating", software turns SD off. Battery capacity only slightly less than MX1, still several days use on one charge. But since no battery memory, suggested charge overnight (5 hours) to be ready for whatever you need. Care Cure member reported hearing at expo that MX2 would have 30% less battery capacity.

                          Q. If not designed to be used in "heavy rain/snow" or on wet surfaces, I asked so what do you do when caught in these? How to carry safely (weight) if not on hanger exposed to weather?
                          A. Can be used in wet conditions, but traction will be less and unit cannot be immersed.

                          Q. Expectation of life of rollers, using everyday on paved surfaces and/or carpet? What kind of lubrication is recommended?
                          A. Annual replacement of rollers at $200 in normal use. No lube required, but can help reduce wear. Info in user guide.

                          Q. Battery expected to last 5 years in field. Cost of replacement?
                          A. Unknown. Separate battery units are "very costly". MX2 batteries still too new to have pricing, but will have in about a month.

                          Q. Who installs SD on new chair?
                          A. DME or user.

                          Q. Warranty goes with unit? (transferable?)
                          A. Yes

                          Q. Repairs after 2 years at cost?
                          A. Yes, by DME or Max Mobility. Software upgrades will be free during warranty if they are compatible with unit.

                          Hope this is helpful to others considering purchase. This is not going to be an inexpensive device, I'm afraid. But for my condition it will allow me to stay out of power chair (which would be far more complicated with present car and living situation) and keep as active as possible.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Great reporting WaveWolf. As I've said before, I would not worry about battery capacity. And unless you plan on driving around several miles a day I would not charge it nightly either.
                            I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks, nonoise! I am so excited about getting a custom chair and the SmartDrive. Tomorrow is my big day with DME and PT evaluator--this is the third attempt, hoping it's a charm!

                              Already purchased a FreeWheel for use with the SmartDrive outdoors, and I will feel so much more in the game then. Have not been able to wheel much for a while due to RA flare, and this will expand my world! I decided to go with the MX2. Usually I wait and buy the tried and true things, but I think this co. supports its products so I am not worried about being on the cutting edge! A separate battery under the seat would have interfered with my much loved underseat bag (http://www.activedogs.com/product/2124/wheelchair-bag-under-seat/) --need easy access to my water bottle and phone, and what I carry in this bag. I really like the idea of the wristband switch, too. My service dog is going to be so happy that he can trot beside me now! I am hoping to train him for pulling, also--but each of us going under our own power will give him quality exercise and sniff time, needed release from all he does for me.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X