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Andrew Rosenberg

University of Rhode Island

BME 281 First Presentation

How Many People Need a Wheelchair?

An estimated 100 million people worldwide
Up to 6% of the population in developing
That number is much higher in war-torn nations
20% of the population in Angola (12 million

Handicapped Accessible?


- Accessible Doorways

- Narrow Doorways

- Paved Roads

- Bumpy & Muddy Roads

- Handicapped Accessible
Buses, Taxis, & Cars

- Long Distances to

- Accessible Ramps

- No Handicapped
Accessible Transportation

How Does the Conventional Push-rim

Wheelchair Work?

How Does the Lever Propelled Wheelch

The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) by Global Research Innovation & Tech
- Created by Amos Winter, PhD et al. (MITs Mobility Lab)

How is it Made?
The Leveraged Freedom Chair is Made From Simple Bicycle
Frame (Aluminum)
2- Chain & Chain ring
2- Tire with Conventional Push rim
2- Axles (Aluminum & Water Pipe)
2- Levers (Aluminum)
This wheelchair is made with bicycle parts because:
They are inexpensive and easy to find
Local bicycle mechanics with limited knowledge can fix any
problem with the chair

Hand-Powered Tricycle


Conventional Chair


All-Terrain Chair



Lever Propelled Wheelchair Compared to the Conventional Wh

76% faster (on Tarmac)
34% faster (on Pavement)
51% more Torque
Easier to use on hills and in mud
41% more Efficient
Delays fatigue
Improves posture
Prevents upper limb joint pain

Leveraged Freedom Chair - $150
MIT funded research and design with production
through Continuum and Pinnacle Industries
Donations help send new chairs around the world

Today (2013)
Pinnacle Industries in India produce 500
Leveraged Freedom Chairs a month
Over thousands of wheelchairs since the summer
of 2011 have been produced and given to
undeveloped countries
Other Companies such as NuDrive and Quantum
Runner have been producing similar versions of
the Leveraged Freedom Chair

Future Outlook
GRIT will release a developed world Leveraged
Freedom Chair version in 2014
Official price not yet released
For every 1st world chair purchased 3 undeveloped
world chairs will be donated

The GRIT team is constantly looking for inexpensive and

readily available materials to bring down the cost of each


Ahmad Rifai Sarraj, Ahmad R., and Raphael Massarelli. "Design History and Advantages
of a New Lever-Propelled Wheelchair Prototype." 13 May 2013. 15 Oct.
2. "Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) / India."D-Lab. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Blake G, Bly RW. The elements of technical writing. Longman,
3. Winter, A., et al. (2010). LEVERAGED FREEDOM CHAIR: A Wheelchair Designed for
Developing Countries. InRehabilitation: Mobility, Exercise and Sports: 4th International
State-of-the-Art Congress(Vol. 26, p. 54). IOS Press, Incorporated.
4. Van der Woude, et al. (1993). Physiological evaluation of a newly designed lever
mechanism for wheelchairs.Journal of medical engineering & technology,17(6), 232240.
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