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Wheelchair!Snow!Shovel!Attachment!
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Advisor:!Dr.!Rahul!Rai!

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MAE!451!
Group!#!8!!
Memo!1!
October!2,!2015!
Prepared!By:!
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Dan!Chelius!
Emilie!Reynolds!
Garrett!Rice!
Dwight!Robinson!
Paul!Stathis!!

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Table&of&Contents&&
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Abstract!………………………………………………..………………………………4!
1.0!Project!Motivation……………...…………………………………………………5!
2.0!Customer!Needs………………..…………………………………………………5!
3.0!Current!Devices!………………..…………………………………………………9!
4.0!Patent!Search!…………………….………………………………………………15!
5.0!Ergonomics!………………………………………………………………………20!
6.0!QFD!Analysis!……………………….…………………………...………….……21!
7.0!Materials!………………………………….……………………...………….……23!
8.0!Product!Design!Specification…………………………………..………….……24!
9.0!Project!Schedule!!………………………………………………………..….……26!
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List!of!Figures!
1. Needs!Hierarchy!Classification…………………………..……….…….…..8!
2. Kano!Model……………..…………………………………………….……....8!
3. FreeWheel!Wheelchair!Attachment…………………………..…………....10!
4. Invacare!Pronto!P31!Power!Wheelchair………………………...…………10!
5. Ripchair!3.0……………………………………………………………..….....11!
6. Two[Stage!Electric!Start!Gas!Snow!Blower…………………………….....11!
7. 2013!Honda!Foreman!ES!(ATV!with!plow)………….……………………12!
8. Truck!with!plow…………………………………………….…….…………12!
9. 18!in.!Mountain!Mower!Snow!Shovel………………………..………...….13!
10. !Heated!Driveway……………………………………………………….......13!
11. Rock!Salt…………………………………………………………...…………14!
12. Example!Plowing!Service…………………………………..………………14!
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List!of!Tables!!
1.!Needs!Statements………………………………………………………..……6!
2.Patent!Research!Discoveries……………………………………………...….15!
3.!Material!Requirement……………………………………...……………...…23!!
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Appendix!!
A.!Customer!Need!Survey!Documents…………………………………………!..28!
B.!Patent!Documents.!……………………………..………………....……………..34!
C.!Team!Meeting!Minutes.!………………………………….....…………………..43!

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Abstract&
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The!objective!for!the!project!team!is!to,!within!the!given!time!frame!of!approximately!8!
weeks,!design!and!prototype!a!snow!shovel!attachment!for!a!wheelchair.!The!design!of!
the!product!has!functionality,!ease!of!use!and!safety!as!its!main!design!criteria.!With!
those!goals!in!mind,!multiple!surveys!questions!were!distributed!in!order!to!help!gather!
a!greater!understanding!of!the!customer!requirements,!and!develop!a!clear!hierarchy!of!
needs.!
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In!addition!to!doing!research!on!customer!preferences!and!expectations,!research!was!
also!done!on!similar!products!that!accomplish!either!the!same!goal!or!similar!ones,!but!
in!different!ways.!A!patent!research!was!also!conducted!in!order!to!discover!any!
existing!product!of!similar!functionality!and!purpose.!Ergonomics!was!also!considered,!
along!with!different!potential!material!types!for!the!design.!The!quality!function!
deployment!analysis!was!preformed!and!the!results!led!to!more!clear!design!
specifications.!!
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1.0&Project&Motivation&&

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Wheelchair!accessibility!is!an!urgent,!and!sometimes!overlooked!aspect!of!everyday!life.!
For!those!fortunate!enough!to!experience!life!outside!of!a!wheelchair,!it!may!not!seem!
like!the!most!pressing!issue.!But!with!an!estimated!3.3!million!wheelchair!users!in!the!
United!States!alone,!it!is!clear!that!accessibility!is!a!crucial!issue.![1]!
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Wheelchair!accessibility!has!a!broad!range!of!problems!to!be!solved.!These!problems!
range!from!wheelchair!size!and!weight!to!public!transportation!and!beyond.!One!
specific!problem!we!discovered!with!wheelchair!users!is!snow!removal.!For!those!
wheelchair!users!who!may!live!on!their!own,!it!is!essential!to!have!a!method!of!clearing!
the!snow!from!onefs!property.!!
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With!this!problem!in!mind,!we!have!decided!to!take!on!the!task!of!designing!a!product!
that!can!be!attached!to!a!wheelchair!and!allow!the!user!to!easily!shovel!snow.!We!feel!
that!this!product!will!solve!a!fairly!important!problem!and!increase!the!accessibility!of!a!
wheelchair!user.!!
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[1]!gWheelchair!Facts,!Numbers!and!Figures![Infographic].g!KD%Smart%Chair.!KD!Healthcare!Company!
USA,!n.d.!Web.!02!Oct.!2015.!

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2.0&Customer&Needs&

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When!developing!any!sort!of!product!or!service!it!is!essential!to!get!feedback!from!the!
end!user.!In!the!end,!the!user!is!the!one!who!decides!how!successful!your!product!is!
and!if!it!will!make!money.!As!engineers!it!is!easy!to!overlook!the!value!of!customer!
feedback!and!make!assumptions!that!are!advantageous!to!the!designer.!Customer!
interviews!and!surveys!provide!an!efficient!way!to!ground!the!design!process!by!
providing!useful!information!on!customer!needs!and!requirements.!This!up[to[date!
information!is!invaluable!to!the!design!process!and!uncovers!users!opinions,!ideas!and!
priorities.!All!of!this!information!can!then!be!parsed!in!order!to!methodically!and!
systematically!come!to!a!clear!understanding!of!the!customers!needs.!
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In!our!specific!survey!we!decided!to!ask!ten!questions,!in!all!different!answer!forms:!
multiple!choice,!checkboxes,!short!answer,!long!answer!and!rating!scale.!The!questions!
and!results!of!this!survey!can!be!found!in!Appendix!A.!The!survey!was!conducted!
online!using!an!online!survey!software!(Qualtrics),!this!allowed!for!a!wider!
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demographic!of!responses.!We!were!able!to!receive!feedback!from!thirteen!different!
states!and!five!different!age!brackets.!This!diverse!population!increases!the!quality!of!
the!results.!Creating!a!successful!product!often!means!building!a!“global”!product.!
Knowing!that!every!customer!has!a!unique!set!of!requirements,!one!must!consider!the!
widest!possible!demographic!of!users.!!
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Through!the!survey!results!the!design!team!was!able!to!establish!need!statements,!
which!allowed!us!to!create!a!needs!hierarchy!along!with!a!Kano!model.!The!
development!of!need!statements!is!a!useful!way!to!interpret!and!parse!all!of!the!raw!
data!and!feedback!received!from!the!survey.!The!purpose!of!the!needs!statements!is!to!
express!each!individual!need!in!terms!of!what!the!product!has!to!do!(not!how!it!might!
do!it),!i.e.!maintaining!solution!independence.!Table!1!shows!all!of!the!need!statements.!
Below.!!!
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Table&1:&Needs&Statements&
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Survey!Comments!

1! “My%son;in;law%I%live%with%is%in%a%wheelchair.%For%Q7,%I%
put%do%not%apply%because%IFm%not%sure%what%you%are%
asking.%I%do%all%the%snow%shoveling.%But%he%does%not%in%
any%way%help.%He%has%weak%arms%and%has%to%be%pushed%in%
a%chair.%He%canFt%have%a%motorized%one%because%he%runs%
into%things%in%one.%I%really%donFt%see%how%this%invention%is%
supposed%to%work.%Are%you%planning%on%putting%it%in%
front?%That%would%be%totally%impractable.%How%would%
they%get%it%on%and%off?%Most%people%in%chairs%are%weak.%
Are%you%planning%to%put%in%in%back?%How%are%they%
supposed%to%shovel%backwards.%How%are%they%supposed%to% !
go%out%and%shovel?%They%would%get%their%chairs%stuck%the%
minute%they%went%in%the%snow.%Are%you%talking%about%a%
snowblower%attachment?%That%would%be%very%heavy%and%
weigh%down%the%chair%and%make%it%impossible%for%them%to%
move.%Also,%shoveling%snow%is%dangerous.%A%lot%of%older%
people%have%heart%attacks%shoveling.%What%if%the%person%in%
the%wheelchair%got%stuck%in%snow%and%no%one%was%around%
to%help%and%they%froze?%This%just%really%doesnFt%make%
sense%to%me.%Seems%very%unsafe.”%

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Needs!Statement!!
a. The!device!has!no!effect!on!
wheelchair!control!and!
maneuverability!
b. The!device!is!easy!to!attach!and!
detach!from!the!wheelchair!
c. The!device!is!lightweight!!
d. The!device!allows!the!user!to!
operate!wheelchair!in!snow!
environments!!
e. The!device!ensures!user!safety!!!

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2!

“ItFs%a%good%idea%but%the%person%must%have%some%energy%
to%use%it.”%

a.

The!device!is!lightweight!!

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“I%just%think%that%others%should%shovel%for%the%person%in%
teh%wheelchair%thus%a%shovel%attachment%is%not%a%great%
idea.%If%you%were%going%to%use%the%wheelchair%to%remove%
snow%attach%a%blade%to%it%and%use%it%as%a%snow%pusher.”%

a. The!device!enables!easy!snow!
displacement!!

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“One%thing%I%found%difficult%in%using%a%wheelchair%was%
the%difficulty%in%navigating%small%spaces.%ThatFs%one%
need%that%needs%to%be%addessed.”%

a. The!device!has!no!effect!of!
wheelchair!control!and!
maneuverability!
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“Shoveling%snow%is%not%an%easy%job%from%a%wheelchair.%
Sweeping%a%floor%from%a%wheelchair%is%very%tough.%I%tried%
to%get%rid%of%some%snow%a%couple%years%ago%and%I%didnFt%
fare%well.%I%almost%fell%out%of%my%chair%and%basically%had%
to%just%give%up.%Missed%a%very%important%appointment%
because%of%it.%BTW,%we%rarely%if%ever%have%snow,%but%
when%we%do%...%yipes%....”%

a.!The!device!ensures!user!safety!!!
b. The!device!requires!little!
additional!physical!strength!!

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As!you!can!see,!from!the!survey!comments!we!were!able!to!interpret!the!customer!
desires!and!translate!them!into!needs!statements.!These!needs!statements!provide!a!
clear!and!concise!description!of!what!the!user!is!looking!for!in!the!product.!From!here,!a!
needs!hierarchy!can!easily!be!created!by!understanding!which!needs!are!the!most!
important.!In!summary,!the!following!needs!are!most!apparent!for!this!product:!
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1. The!device!has!no!effect!on!wheelchair!control!and!maneuverability!
2. The!device!is!easy!to!attach!and!detach!from!the!wheelchair!
3. The!device!is!lightweight!
4. The!device!allows!the!user!to!operate!wheelchair!in!snow!environments!!
5. The!device!enables!easy!snow!displacement!
6. The!device!ensures!user!safety!
7. The!device!requires!little!additional!physical!strength!!!
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From!the!content!of!the!needs!statement!it!is!clear!that!safety!is!a!major!concern,!and!
rightfully!so.!Being!that!this!product!is!targeted!for!disabled!people,!safety!will!need!to!
be!a!driving!factor!in!the!design.!In!terms!of!the!hierarchy!of!needs,!the!obvious!primary!
need!is!to!allow!wheelchair!users!to!remove!snow.!Other!needs!addressed!will!fall!

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under!secondary!and!tertiary!needs.!The!needs!hierarchy!diagram!below!displays!the!
breakdown!of!all!needs.!
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Figure&1:&Needs&Hierarchy&Classification&&

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A!Kano!model!is!another!useful!tool!in!gaining!a!thorough!understanding!of!customers!
needs.!This!model!(figure!2)!involves!two!dimensions:!achievement!(horizontal!axis)!
and!satisfaction!(vertical!axis).!The!plot!itself!identifies!three!levels!of!need:!expected!
(basic),!normal!(performance)!or!excitement.!The!expected!needs!refer!to!the!most!basic!
features!that!are!assumed!to!be!present!in!the!product,!typically!known!as!“must!
haves”.!The!normal!needs!are!features!that!are!present!across!industry!competition.!The!
exciting!needs!are!features!or!characteristics!
that!are!revolutionary!or!novel.!!
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By!applying!the!previously!established!needs!
to!the!Kano!model!(figure!2);!the!team!can!
determine!the!projected!satisfaction!level!of!the!
users.!The!Kano!needs!breakdown!is!detailed!
below.!
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Basic!!
1. Shovels!snow!!
2. Structurally!sound!
3. Safe!!
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Figure&2:&Kano&Model&
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Performance!
1. Durabale!!
2. Lightweight!
3. Simple!connection!!
Excitement!
1. Wheelchair!motion!not!affected!
2. No!additional!physical!strength!required!!
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In!the!case!of!our!product,!the!customers!will!be!subconsciously!expecting!the!device!to!
shovel!snow,!be!structurally!sound!and!safe!for!the!users.!These!are!the!basic!needs!
(represented!by!the!green!arrow!in!figure!2),!if!these!needs!are!not!met!the!user!will!be!
extremely!disappointed.!The!next!set!is!performance!needs!(represented!by!the!blue!
arrow!in!figure!2),!the!device!is!expected!to!be!durable,!lightweight!and!have!a!simple!
connection.!The!better!these!needs!are!met,!the!happier!the!consumer!will!be.!Finally,!
the!excitement!needs!(represented!by!the!red!arrow!in!figure!#)!will!surprise!the!user!
and!increase!satisfaction.!In!our!case!this!would!include!the!wheelchair!motion!not!
being!affected!by!the!snow!shovel!attachment!and!no!additional!strength!required!from!
the!user.!!
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3.0&Current&Devices&

There!are!many!solutions!to!one!single!problem.!Each!solution!works!in!its!own!right,!
but!a!perfect!solution!is!a!rarity.!Solutions!based!upon!disabled!persons!are!generally!
overlooked!and!require!products!that!meet!their!specific!needs.!A!product!made!for!the!
handicapped!ignores!market!appeal!in!favor!of!creating!a!better!world!for!those!people!
in!need.!There!are!many!means!by!which!one!can!clear!snow!from!their!driveway,!but!
none!of!which!fully!benefit!those!who!cannot!walk.!It!is!with!these!devices!that!the!team!
is!able!to!determine!particular!characteristics!that!will!benefit!this!group!of!individuals,!
and!those!that!will!not.!
By!identifying!products!on!the!market!that!are!used!by!able[bodies,!the!team!is!able!to!
come!up!with!different!design!ideas!that!would!make!the!products!able!to!be!used!by!
disabled!bodies.!Examples!of!these!include!an!understanding!of!attachable!wheelchair!
parts!and!means!of!clearing!snow!in!general.!This!is!to!get!an!idea!of!how!disabled!
persons!will!be!able!to!achieve!the!same!goals!as!able[bodies.!Current!marketed!devices!
relevant!to!our!design!are!shown!in!the!figures!below!expressed!with!their!strong!points!
and!shortcomings.!
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1. FreeWheel)Wheelchair)Attachment)1)$599.00)

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Advantages:!
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1. Can!ride!over!all!terrain!!
2. Attaches!to!the!front!of!a!manual!wheelchair!
3. Increases!mobility!
Disadvantages:!
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1. Expensive!
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Figure&3:&FreeWheel&Wheelchair!Attachment!

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2. Invacare)Pronto)P31)Power)Wheelchair)1)$5,449.00)
Advantages:!
1.
Can!be!used!by!disabled!bodies!
2.
Requires!little!effort!to!use!due!to!control!system!
3.
Tight!turning!radius!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Limited!use!due!to!batteries!
2.
Potentially!unsafe!in!wet!environments!
3.
Functions!best!on!flat!surfaces!
4.
Regular!maintenance!required!
5.
Costly!
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Figure&4:&Incacare&Pronto&P31&Power&Wheelchair!

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3.))Ripchair)3.0)1)$27,000!
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Advantages:!
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Ramp!and!lock[in!system!for!wheelchairs!
10[inch!clearance!rate!to!give!ability!to!drive!on!all!terrain!
1200lb!machine!allows!easy!snow!removal!!

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2.
3.
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Cannot!easily!be!stored!
2.
Costly!
3.
Impractical!
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Figure&5:&Ripchair&3.0!

4.&&Two1Stage)Electric)Start)Gas)Snow)Blower)1)$899.00!
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Advantages:!
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1.
Fast!and!efficient!
2.
Requires!very!little!physical!energy!
3.
Able!to!“chew”!through!thick!snow!
4.
Clears!snow!through!projection!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Requires!able[bodied!individual!
2.
Limited!use!via!gasoline!
3.
Noisy!
4.
Many!moving!parts!requiring!maintenance!!
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Figure&6:&TwoOStage&Electric&Start&Gas&Snow&Blower!

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5.))2013)Honda)Foreman)ES)(ATV)w/)Plow))1)$1,913.00!
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Advantages:!
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1.
Ability!to!drive!over!rough!terrain!
2.
Pushes!moderately!heavy!objects!
3.
Multipurpose!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
2.
3.
4.
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Figure&7:&2013&Honda&Foreman&ES&(ATV&w/&Plow)!

Limited!use!due!to!gasoline!
Usually!requires!able!body!
Expensive!
Less!maneuverable!than!other!solutions!(i.e.!Snow!Blower)!

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6.))Truck)with)Plow)1)$23,000+&
Advantages:!
1.
Completes!work!quickly!
2.
Keeps!individuals!out!of!the!elements!
3.
Capable!of!pushing!extremely!heavy!loads!
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Disadvantages:!!
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1.
Least!maneuverable!solution!
2.
Requires!license!
3.
Upscale!
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Figure&8:&Truck&with&plow !

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&&7.)))18)in.)Mountain)Mover)Snow)Shovel)1)$13.97&
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Advantages:!
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1.
Economical!
2.
Most!maneuverable!solution!
3.
Easy!to!store!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Requires!able[body!
2.
Unreliable:!Breaks!easily!
3.
Physically!intensive!
4.
Time!consuming!
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Figure&9:&18&in.&Mountain&Mower&Snow&Shovel!

8.))))Heated)Driveway)1)$121$21/ft2%
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Advantages:!
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1.
Requires!minimum!effort!to!maintain!!
2.
Eliminates!risks!due!to!ice!and!snow!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Expensive!installation!
2.
High!repair!costs!
3.
Requires!utilities!
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Figure&10:&Heated&Driveway!

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9.&&Rock)Salt)$8.97&
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Advantages:!
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1.
Requires!little!effort!
2.
Affordable!
3.
Evenly!coats!hard!to!reach!areas!(stairs,!porches,!etc.)!
4.
Prevents!buildup!of!ice!and!snow!
5.
Reduces!damage!due!to!falling!on!ice!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Potentially!toxic!
2.
Limited!use!to!thin!sheets!of!snow!
3.
Leaves!residue!
4.
Causes!corrosion!to!motor!vehicles!and!concrete!surfaces!
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Figure&11:&Rock&Salt!

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10.)))Plowing)Service)$3501$450%
Advantages:!
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1.
Requires!zero!effort!
2.
Job!is!done!quickly!
3.
Does!not!require!repair!bills!or!replacements!
4.
Keeps!individuals!out!of!the!weather!
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Disadvantages:!
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1.
Expensive!
2.
3.
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Requires!scheduling!
Relies!on!strangers!

Figure&12:&Example&Plowing&Service!

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After!Analyzing!current!products!sold!in!the!market!the!team!discovered!there!is!a!
limited!amount!of!similar!products,!but!the!products!geared!towards!wheelchair[
oriented!persons!is!even!more!limited.!It!can!be!seen!that!when!it!comes!to!snow!
removal!price!directly!correlates!to!quality.!The!more!expensive!the!product,!the!more!
quickly!and!efficiently!snow!can!be!cleared.!With!handicapped!persons!being!a!small!
percentage!of!the!general!population,!it!is!important!not!to!denounce!the!innovation!
that!can!be!produced!to!make!it!easier!for!a!wheelchair!user!to!be!independent.!As!it!can!
be!seen!in!this!research,!most!products!made!for!snow!removal!require!an!able[bodied!
person,!making!the!handicapped!person!completely!dependent!on!someone!else.!This!
makes!our!product!that!much!more!needed.!!
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4.0&Patent&Research&&
In!order!to!better!gauge!the!existing!market,!a!patent!search!was!done.!This!search!
uncovered!many!different!technologies!and!inventions!in!the!industry!we!are!pursing.!
This!information!is!extremely!helpful!in!identifying!the!most!effective!ways!to!shovel!
snow.!Some!of!the!patents!found!relate!to!the!wheelchair!snow!removal!process,!others!
are!for!able[bodied!individuals.!!All!of!the!patents!are!tabulated!below!(table!2)!along!
with!an!engineering!drawing!and!description.!The!first!page!of!each!individual!patent!is!
located!in!Appendix!B.!
Table&2:&Patent&Research&Discoveries&

Patent&Name:&Snowplow!and!Mount!Assembly!for!Use!with!A!Wheelchair&
Patent&#:&US20090255150A1&
Drawing&
Description&

!
!

!

Similar!to!the!idea!of!a!snowplow!attachment!for!
a!motorized!wheelchair,!this!snowplow!
attachment!is!for!a!mechanical!wheelchair.!Using!
a!V!shape,!the!design!allows!for!the!wheelchair!
user!to!push!snow!out!of!the!way.!Less!arm!
work!for!moving!the!snow!out!of!the!way!of!the!
user.!Easily!attachable!but!not!easily!storable.!
One!other!downside!associated!with!this!
product!is!the!amount!of!force!required!to!push!
through!all!that!snow!with!the!added!weight!of!
the!system.!
15!

!
!
Patent&Name:&Portable!Hand[Operated!Lifting!Device&
Patent#:&US66685B1!
Drawing&
Description&
!
This!“Portable!hand[operated!lifting!device”!is!
able!to!adjust!the!lever!arm!of!not!only!the!foot!
pedal!(202)!but!also!the!handle!in!which!the!user!
places!their!hand,!the!lifting!device!does!the!job!
of!providing!ease!in!lifting!multiple!things.!It!
can!be!used!as!a!shovel!for!dirt!or!snow,!and!can!
also!be!used!to!lift!heavier!things.!It!provides!a!
multi[functional!lifting!tool.!Unfortunately!this!
lifting!tool!has!its!shortcomings,!being!that!it!is!
hard!to!adjust!the!length!and!height.!
Patent&Name:&Plow!For!Use!with!Motorized!Wheelchair&
Patent#:&US8393096B2&
Drawing&
Description&
This!motorized!wheelchair!plow!serves!the!role!
of!supplying!anybody!with!a!motorized!
wheelchair,!the!option!of!being!able!to!move!the!
snow!out!of!their!way.!As!the!plow!will!serve!
the!role!of!pushing!the!snow!out!of!the!way!of!
the!user,!it!will!attach!to!the!wheelchair!at!69!and!
70!and!be!held!at!the!top!using!the!handle!to!
ensure!accurate!pushing.!This!does!the!job!of!
moving!the!snow!out!of!the!way!but!does!not!
allow!for!proper!snow!removal.!Another!
shortcoming!associated!with!this!invention!is!the!
fact!that!it!can!only!be!used!with!the!motorized!
wheelchair,!leaving!people!with!mechanical!
!
wheelchairs!fewer!possibilities!to!shovel!snow.!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
16!
!
!

!
!
Patent&Name:&Snow!Shovel&
Patent&Number:&US4691954A!
Drawing&

Description&
This!snow!shovel!is!almost!identical!to!your!
basic!snow!shovel,!with!one!exception.!There!is!a!
spring!in!the!middle!of!the!shaft!that!allows!the!
handle!to!be!pushed!inward!to!add!more!force!to!
the!shoveling!of!the!snow.!In!doing!so!it!will!
allow!for!the!shovel!to!go!deeper!into!the!snow.!
The!shovel!also!allows!for!decreased!shock!if!the!
user!were!to!hit!a!hard!object.!The!shock!will!
travel!through!the!spring!rather!than!through!
the!body!of!the!user.!!

!
Patent&Name:&Versatile!Attachment!for!a!Shovel&
Patent&Number:&US6486076B1&
Drawing&
Description&
Much!like!a!regular!snow!shovel,!the!“versatile!
attachment!for!a!shovel”!shovels!snow!but!
unlike!a!regular!shovel,!it!adds!an!efficient!
method!to!attain!leverage!when!shoveling!snow.!
The!extra!lever!that!is!attached!to!the!shovel!can!
be!moved!to!both!the!top!and!the!bottom!of!the!
shovel.!When!at!the!top,!it!can!be!used!to!apply!a!
force!with!extra!leverage!and!at!the!bottom,!it!
can!be!used!to!provide!extra!leverage!where!it!
will!reduce!strain!on!the!users!back.!Although!
this!snow!shovel!comes!with!multiple!benefits,!
!
the!negatives!of!this!snow!shovel!include!fixed!
distances!as!it!is!not!adjustable!in!height,!which!
would!cause!strain!for!people!that!are!too!short!
or!too!tall.!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

17!

!
!
Patent&Name:&&Snow!Moving!Implement&
Patent&#:&US2884720A&
Drawing&

Description&
This!improved!V!snowplow!connects!to!motor!
driven!road!vehicles.!It!provides!a!universal!V!
type!snowplow!that!allows!for!attachment!to!
any!type!of!motor!vehicle!based!on!height.!
The!problem!that!can!be!associated!with!this!
snowplow!attachment!would!be!the!fact!that!the!
use!of!this!is!for!cars!that!have!snow!tires,!tires!
that!can!drive!without!a!problem!in!2!inches!of!
snow!on!the!ground.!If!a!driver!uses!normal!tires!
there!will!be!no!benefit!from!this!product.!!

!
Patent&Name:&Compact!Material!Pusher!with!Universal!Design!and!Method!of!Manufacturing&
Patent&#:&US6560904B2&
Drawing&
Description&
This!compact!material!pusher!functions!as!a!
pusher!of!multiple!things!including!snow,!dirt,!
rocks,!etc.!It!is!designed!to!be!attached!to!
farming!equipment!and!serves!the!purpose!of!
moving!materials!in!mass!across!large!distances.!
The!design!of!this!is!to!improve!the!materials!
used!and!the!manufacturability!of!the!pusher.!
!
!
Patent&Name:&Auxiliary!Handle!for!Shovels&
Patent&#:&US5447349A&
Drawing&
Description&
Like!a!regular!shovel!it!has!the!ability!to!pick!up!
snow!and!other!materials!but!it!can!also!swivel,!
elongate!and!turn!about!an!axis.!The!negative!
that!is!associated!with!this!design!is!the!amount!
of!mechanical!work!required!to!swivel,!turn!and!
elongate!the!shovel!about!its!axis.!
!

!
!
!

!
18!

!
!
Patent&Name:&Stand!Up!Snow!Shovel!with!Auxiliary!Handle!
Patent&#:&US5604672A&
Drawing&
Description&
“For!some!people,!shoveling!snow!is!either!
painful!or!impossible!because!it!cannot!be!
undertaken!without!at!least!some!bending!of!the!
lower!back.”!The!auxiliary!cord!attached!to!the!
snow!shovel!plays!the!role!of!applying!extra!
leverage!for!picking!up!and!shoveling!snow.!By!
adding!this,!the!user!avoids!using!their!back!
while!shoveling!and!requires!significantly!less!
force!with!either!arms!when!shoveling.!
Negatives!associated!with!this!would!be!the!
possibility!of!unhinging!the!chord!from!the!
shovel.!If!it!unhooks!during!a!shoveling!motion!
it!might!cause!detrimental!jerking!motion!to!the!
!
user,!injuring!their!arms!or!back.!
Patent&Name:&One!Handed!Shovel!for!Handicapped&
Patent&#:&US6464272B1&
Drawing&
Description&
!
“This!shovel!is!intended!to!be!used!by!a!person!
who!has!lost!the!use!of!a!limb!through!an!
accident,!infirmity,!or!disease.!It!will!enable!the!
person!to!shovel!snow!with!one!arm!while!
standing!on!a!crutch,!sitting!in!a!wheelchair,!or!
on!both!legs.”!Positives!of!this!device!include!
being!adjustable!such!that!it!can!accommodate!
multiple!sized!people.!It!also!allows!for!minimal!
use!of!back!and!effort!in!shoveling.!It!uses!
mostly!biceps!and!forearms!in!the!shoveling!of!
the!snow!using!one!arm!and!in!doing!so!it!comes!
with!a!brace!against!the!shoulder!to!provide!
extra!support!in!lifting.!One!of!the!main!negative!
aspects!associated!with!this!shovel!is!the!need!
for!a!strong!bicep!and!forearm!muscle,!which!
most!people!with!a!disability!do!not!have.!!
!
!
!

19!

5.0&Ergonomics&
Ergonomics,!also!known!as!Human!Factors,!is!one!of!the!most!critical,!yet!often!
overlooked,!aspects!of!engineering!design.!Ergonomics!is!entirely!based!around!the!
ease!of!use!and!accessibility!of!a!product.!A!product!that!is!difficult!to!use!will!always!
struggle!in!the!market,!regardless!of!how!useful!the!product!actually!is.!For!a!product!
aimed!at!being!used!by!physically!challenged!individuals,!making!sure!the!product!is!
easy!to!use!and!understand!is!even!more!important.!As!such,!any!Wheelchair!mounted!
Snowplow!will!need!to!take!the!follow!considerations!into!effect!if!it!is!to!make!the!lives!
of!wheelchair!users!easier,!rather!than!more!difficult.!
!

List%of%Ergonomic%Issues%and%Potential%Solutions%
!

!
!

Attaching!and!Detaching!Plow!
o Plow!needs!to!be!able!to!be!attached!and!removed!while!the!user!is!in!the!
chair!with!no!external!assistance.!
! Make!plow!snap,!slide,!or!clip!on.!Must!be!a!method!that!requires!
low!amount!of!time!and!effort.!
! Assembly!should!be!intuitive,!and!not!require!difficult!instructions.!
Able!to!still!use!Wheelchair!normally!
o Plow!cannot!interfere!with!the!mobility!of!the!chair,!such!as!turning!and!
rolling.!
! Size!of!the!plow!needs!to!be!constrained!away!from!the!wheels.!
! Few!components!or!hard!points!located!at!wheels.!
Potential!for!hitting!someone!or!something!
o In!the!event!that!the!plow!hits!a!person,!or!something!that!the!user!did!not!
intend!to!hit,!the!plow!must!be!of!low!impact!design!to!not!cause!damage.!
! Potential!padding!attached!to!top!edge!of!plow.!
! Angle!plow!back,!to!minimize!chance!of!impacting!something!
above!ground!level.!
Able!to!hold!up!to!extreme!temperatures!and!conditions!
o Being!primarily!used!in!the!winter!outdoors,!plow!must!be!made!of!
materials!can!withstand!below!many!difficult!conditions!such!as!below!
freezing!temperatures,!water!from!melting!snow,!chemical!corrosion!from!
salt,!and!ice!build!up.!
! Potentially!use!high!end!materials!that!are!resistant!to!corrosion.!
! Make!use!of!rubber!or!plastics!to!prevent!water!intrusion!and!
reduce!ice!damage.!
! Components!cannot!be!thermally!sensitive.!
!
20!

Stability!
o Being!mounted!on!the!front!of!the!chair,!the!potential!for!tipping!becomes!
an!issue.!Plow!needs!to!either!be!of!low!enough!weight!that!it!minimizes!
chance!of!tipping,!or!possess!a!counterweight.!
! Plow!should!not!extend!too!far!in!front!of!chair,!to!minimize!
moment!arm.!
! Plow!should!be!comprised!of!lightweight!materials!whenever!
possible.!
! Design!needs!to!be!roughly!symmetrical,!to!maintain!a!proper!
center!of!gravity!for!the!user.!
Allow!for!adjustments!during!use.!
o Given!the!difficult!task!that!is!snow!plowing,!the!plow!needs!to!be!able!to!
raise!and!lower!itself,!as!well!as!adjust!its!angle!in!order!to!allow!the!job!to!
be!done!as!effectively!as!possible.!
! Allow!for!the!inclusion!of!handles!to!adjust!the!functionality!of!the!
plow.!
! Must!be!hand!operated!only.!
! Design!has!to!be!minimal,!as!it!possesses!the!same!criteria!as!the!
rest!of!the!plow.!

!
!

6.0&QFD&Analysis&&
The!QFD!analysis!is!the!method!used!to!turn!user!demands!into!quantitative!products,!
making!it!easier!to!measure!the!need!and!ease!of!adhering!to!specific!user!demands.!By!
creating!our!house!of!quality,!we!gained!important!information!concerning!the!
importance!of!user!interaction,!ease!of!use,!and!ease!of!assembly.!By!applying!the!
information!gained!from!our!surveys,!we!learned!the!importance!of!each!factor!
contributing!to!the!Wheelchair!Snow!Shovel!Attachment.!The!Gantt!chart!was!created!
using!a!downloaded!template!from!the!Internet.!!!
!
!

!

21!

22!

!
!
Figure'13:'House'of'Quality'(QFD'Analysis'!

7.0$Materials$
The$ selection$ of$ material$ is$ extremely$ important$ when$ it$ comes$ to$ this$ product.$
The$material$must$be$light$enough$so$a$person$can$easily$maneuver$with$the$product,$
but$it$also$must$be$durable$and$strong.$An$inefficient$material$can$lead$to$the$user$being$
injured,$and$unable$to$complete$the$task$the$product$is$supposed$to$aid$them$in.Table$3$:$
Material$Requirements$$
Durability:$$

The$materials$must$be$able$to$hold$heavy$loads$without$deforming$or$
cracking.$It$also$must$be$able$to$withstand$impacts$loading$without$
being$damaged.$The$material$must$also$be$resistant$to$corrosion.$$

Weight:$

The$material$must$be$light$since$the$use$with$be$manually$lifting$it.$$

User$
Assembly:$

The$product$must$have$very$little$assembly.$It$must$also$be$able$to$be$
easily$attached$to$a$wheelchair.$

Temperature:$ The$material$must$be$able$to$withstand$cold$temperatures$without$
being$damaged.$The$product$may$also$be$stored$in$areas$with$hot$
temperatures$during$summer,$and$spring$months.$So$the$material$
chosen$must$be$resistant$to$deformation$due$to$temperature$changes.$$
$
$
Several$ different$ materials$ will$ be$ explored$ for$ use$ in$ our$ product.$ Aluminum,$
steel$and$plastics$are$all$possible$choices$for$the$snow$shovel.$Steel$is$extremely$durable,$
and$will$not$deform$easily.$It$can$hold$heavy$loads,$and$withstand$impact$forces.$Steel$
will$be$able$to$chip$through$ice$and$pick$up$heavy,$and$wet$snow.$But$using$steel$can$
drive$up$the$cost$of$the$product,$and$it$would$make$the$shovel$very$heavy.$$
$
Plastic$is$a$possible$material$that$can$be$used.$It$is$not$be$as$strong$as$steel,$and$
can$be$more$easily$damaged.$But$it$would$drive$the$cost$down$of$the$product,$and$it$is$
light$and$easy$to$maneuver.$Also$a$metal$strip$can$be$added$to$the$edge$of$the$shovel$so$
it$is$more$durable,$and$to$make$it$easier$to$chip$ice.$$$
$
Aluminum$ is$ a$ good$ alternative$ to$ steel.$ It$ is$ lighter,$ and$ cheaper$ than$ steel.$ If$
the$shovel$is$shaped$like$a$v,$or$angled$it$can$easily$push$heavier$snow.$Aluminum$is$
corrosion$resistant,$reducing$the$need$for$the$user$to$replace$the$shovel.$Even$though$it$
would$be$difficult$to$get$through$ice$with$aluminum,$and$like$the$plastic$shovel$a$steel$
strip$can$be$added$to$the$aluminum$shovel.$
$
As$ mentioned$ before$ a$ steel$ edge$ can$ be$ added$ to$ the$ aluminum$ shovel$ and$
plastic$shovel$to$reduce$the$chance$of$it$breaking,$and$giving$the$user$the$ability$to$chip$
through$ ice.$ Another$ type$ of$ edge$ that$ can$ be$ used$ it$ a$ urethane$ edge,$ which$ is$ a$
!

23!

rubberClike$ material.$ This$ material$ is$ flexible,$ and$ if$ the$ shovel$ hits$ a$ hard$ edge$ it$
absorbs$most$of$the$shock.$Also$this$type$of$edge$can$glide$over$frozen$gravel.$This$does$
leave$ a$ thin$ layer$ of$ snow$ on$ the$ ground,$ but$ makes$ it$ easier$ for$ the$ user$ to$ push$ the$
snow$since$it’s$less$likely$to$get$caught$on$a$layer$of$ice.!!
In$the$end,$the$weight$of$the$system$is$one$of$the$most$import$aspects$and$is$crucial$to$a$
successful$ design.$ Considering$ this,$ it$ is$ highly$ likely$ that$ the$ main$ material$ of$ choice$
will$be$a$plastic$of$some$sort.$
$

8.0$Product$Design$Specification$$
Function:$
The$wheelchair$snow$shovel$attachment$will$assist$wheelchair$users$with$the$difficult$
job$of$shoveling$snow$in$the$winter.$The$product$will$easily$attach$to$any$size$
wheelchair$and$will$be$lightweight$in$order$to$reduce$the$required$user$strength.$
Customer$Requirements$(in$order$of$importance):$
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Easy$snow$displacement$and$removal$
User$safety$
Lightweight$
Simple$connection$
Durable$
No$effect$on$wheelchair$control$and$maneuverability$
Requires$little$additional$physical$strength$$$
$
Engineering$Characteristics$(in$order$of$importance):$
1. Must$of$relatively$low$forces$to$operate$
2. Must$have$strong$material$$
3. Must$have$secure$joint$$
4. Must$be$able$to$withstand$certain$tensile$and$compressive$forces$
$
Design$Requirements:$$
1. Physical$and$Operation$Characteristics$$
a. Performance+Requirements:+The$wheelchair$snow$shovel$attachment$
will$essentially$allow$a$wheelchair$to$turn$into$a$snowplow$and$
easily$disperse$snow.$The$attachment$will$not$add$any$required$
force$to$operate$the$wheelchair$and$will$easily$attach$to$a$wide$
variety$of$wheelchair$sizes.+
24!
!
!

b. Safety:+The$attachment$will$be$securely$fastened$to$the$wheelchair$
in$order$to$prevent$any$possible$injuries$during$operation.+
c. Reliability:$The$attachment$will$have$similar$effectiveness$to$a$hand$
snow$shovel$+
d. Life+in+Service:$The$wheelchair$snow$shovel$attachment$will$have$a$
similar$life$span$to$that$of$a$hand$shovel$(approximately$5$years)+
e. Shelf+Life:+Shall$be$at$least$5$years+
f. Operating+Environment:+Given$the+nature$of$our$product,$it$will$
obviously$need$to$operate$in$harsh$winter$conditions.$In$its$lifetime,$
the$product$will$be$exposed$to$ice,$snow,$slush$and$freezing$
temperatures.$The$product$will$therefore$be$designed$to$withstand$
said$conditions+
g. Ergonomics:+The$product$will$be$easily$adjustable,+using$a$simple$
mechanical$mechanism.$The$connection$point$will$be$simple$and$
straightforward.$+
h. Size:+The$size$of$the$attachment$will$ideally$be$similar$to$that$of$a$
snow$shovel$head$(8.5’’$x$18’’$x$5’’).+
i. Weight:+The$preliminary$weight$goal$is+5$pounds+
j. Materials:+The$preliminary$material$goal$is$a$hard$plastic$of$some$
sort.$$
k. Aesthetics,+Appearance+and+Finish:+The$attachment$will$have$a$glossy$
finish$and$sleek$design.+
2.$Production$Characteristics$$
a. Quantity:$Multiple,$depending$on$success$of$product.+
b. Target+Selling+Price:+$50++
c. Manufacturing+Process:+Injection$molding+
$
$
$
$
$
$

$

!

25!

9.0$Project$Schedule$$
WBS$
1$
1.1$
1.2$
1.2$
1.2.1$
1.2.2$
1.2.3$
1.2.4$
1.2.5$
1.2.6$
1.3$
1.3.1$
1.3.2$
1.4$
1.4.1$
1.4.2$
1.5$
1.5.1$
1.5.2$
1.5.3$
1.6$
1.6.1$
1.6.2$
1.7$
1.7.1$
1.8$
1.8.1$
1.9$
1.9.1$
1.9.2$
1.10$
1.10.1$
1.11$
1.12$
1.13$
1.14$

$

Task$Title$
KMAE$451$–$Wheelchair$Shovel$Attachment$
Develop$Project$Charter$
Project$Charter$Approval$$
K$Customer$Need$Overview$
Survey$Construction$
Survey$Distribution$
Research$User$Requirements$
Verify$And$Validate$User$Requirements$
Developed$needs$statements$and$hierarchy$
Incorporated$Kano’s$Model$
Current$Devices$
Research$Similar$Devices$
Produce$list$of$Relevant$Devices$
Patent$Research$
Generate$list$of$relevant$patents$
Generate$summarization$of$relevancy$
Ergonomics$
Develop$ergonomic$issues$list$
Develop$ergonomic$solutions$list$
Assimilated$customer$needs$list$
QFD$Analysis$
Developed$customer$need$from$survey$
feedback$
Developed$QFD$diagram$
Materials$
Generated$list$of$relevant$materials$based$
in$customer$needs$
Product$Design$Specification$
Summary$of$information$gathered$in$the$
preliminary$design$stages$
Project$Schedule$
Work$Breakdown$Schedule$
Gantt$Chart$
Memo$One$Completion$
Compile,$edit,$print$
Produce$Memo$Two$
Produce$Memo$Three$
Produce$Memo$Four$
Produce$Memo$Five$

Time$
Period$

Start$

Finish$

56$days$
2$days$
1$days$
6$days$
1$days$
5$days$
4$days$
1$day$
1$day$
2$days$
4$days$
2$days$
2$days$
5$days$
3$days$
4$days$
5$days$
1$day$
2$days$
2$days$
8$days$
7$days$$

Mon$9/21/15$
Mon$9/21/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Mon$9/27/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Fri$9/25/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Sat$9/26/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Fri$9/25/15$
Sun$9/27/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Wed$9/23/15$

Mon$12/7/15$
Fri$10/2/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Sun$9/28/15$
Wed$9/23/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Sun$9/27/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Tues$9/28/15$
Sat$9/26/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Sat$9/26/15$
Tue$9/27/15$
Fri$9/25/15$
Tues$9/27/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Thurs$9/24/15$
Sat$9/26/15$
Mon$9/28/15$
Wed$9/30/15$
Tues$9/29/15$

2$days$
5$days$
4$days$

Tues$9/29/15$
Fri$9/25/15$
Fri$9/25/15$

Wed$9/30/15$
Tue$9/29/15$
Mon$9/29/15$

1$day$
1$day$

Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$

Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$

11$days$
11$days$
1$day$
1$day$
1$day$
13$days$
13$days$
15$days$
29$days$

Mon$9/21/15$
Mon$9/21/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Fri$10/2/15$
Wed$10/14/15$
Mon$10/26/15$
Mon$11/9/15$

Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Thurs$10/1/15$
Wed$10/14/15$
Mon$10/26/15$
Mon$11/9/15$
Mon$12/7/15$

$$

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26!

Gantt%Chart!(This!chart!was!created!using!the!online!software!Smartsheet.)!!
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Appendix(A:(Survey(Questions(and(Results((
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Appendix(C:(Meeting(Minutes(
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