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The ParaLift

A Human-Powered Wheelchair Lift for Vans

Design Team
Chris Balino, Jerry Kim, Ovilia Hanafiah
Nelly Nganga, Alyanna Tenorio
Design Advisor
Prof. Jim Papadopoulos
Wheelchair Access Activist
Paul Bowers

Introduction
Paul Bowers: paraplegic wheelchair user and driver in LA
Currently uses Braun Swing-A-Way hydraulic lift for
Curbside street parking
Disabled parking space
Passenger side-entry of van

Paul Bowers[1]

Too expensive, obtrusive, and slow


Now unavailable in U.S. and Canada

Braun Swing-A-Way[2]

Problem Statement
Develop ergonomic human-powered
ParaLift that is space conscious,
low-noise, smoother, simpler, lighter,
and less expensive
To be further evaluated at
Landsberger Rehabilitation Lab at
California State University, Los
Angeles (CSULA)

Concept: pull-up to enter van quickly

Design Specifications
1 Safety

Main criteria for human-powered lift

2 Ease of use

3 Speed

4 Size
5 Noise
6 Cost

Passenger-side van entry


Use in any parking space by wheeling between vehicles
then rotating inward after lifting
<1 minute operation unassisted
$5,000 manufacturing cost

Abilities Expo Boston feedback on typical lifts

It is very loud and people look at me all the time


It is so heavy
It takes 5 minutes to get into the car and out of the car

Research
Vehicles
Sliding door preferred
Commonly converted minivans
for wheelchair users
Dodge Grand
Caravan
Chrysler Town &
Country
Toyota Sienna

Relevant minivan dimensions[3]


1

Description
(in inches)

Floor to
ceiling
height

Floor to
overhead
console

Ground
clearance

Ramp
length

Ramp
width

58.0

Passenger
sliding door
opening
width
31.5

Cargo
area
length

Dodge

Passenger
sliding door
opening
height
54.5

84.0

7.0

50.0

30.0

57.0

Research
Regulations
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
Minimum load = 600 lb with a safety factor of 6 (i.e. 3600 lbs.)
Interlocked with vehicle brakes, transmission, or door
Intended as proof of concept, not destined for general user population

Institutional Review Board (IRB) testing


Completed Human Subject Research Protection (HSRP) certification
Testing safety approved by Jack Price at Environmental Health & Safety
(EHS)

Design: Counterbalance
Counterweight system reduces users effort
User only pulls up (when entering) or pushes down
(when exiting) the difference between the weight and
counterweight
Counterweight ~ 60% of lift and users weight
Adjustable weight system to accommodate different
users

Weight system[4]

Design: Safety Features


Safety lips line perimeter of platform and prevent users wheels from rolling off of
platform
Braking system requires both handles on grab bar to be depressed and prevents lift
from engaging unintentionally

Platform safety lips[5]

Release handles of braking system[6]

Design: Finite Element Analysis


Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
Load: 200 lb on base plate + gravity

Max: 0.066 in

Stowing slider: stress (psi)

Stowing slider: displacement (in)

Design: Finite Element Analysis


Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
Load: front load 80 lb, back load 150 lb

Max: 3.667e+004

Platform: stress (psi)

Max: 0.724 in

Platform: displacement (in)

Design: Phase I Assembly


Column
Grab bar
Cable
force

Lifting/rotating
slider

Platform

Stowing
slider

Design: Lifting Mechanisms


Column anchors system
and allows for translation
and rotation of platform
Lifting/rotating slider
counterbalanced to
selectable weights for user
and platform

Teflon flange
bearing

Lifting
slider

Stowing slider
carriage

Stowing slider

Stowing slider
counterbalanced to stow lift
in car after parking

Stowing slider
rails
Column

Magnified view

Design: Lifting Mechanisms


Three slider configurations

Lifting
slider
down

Stowing
slider
down

Deployed

Lifting
slider
up

Stowing
slider
down

Lifted

Lifting
slider
down

Stowing
slider
up

Stowed

Design: Platform
A-support

A-support connects
platform and base plate to
stowing slider
Platform lifts and lowers
Once platform is rotated
into van, guide rail feature
allows it to slide in and
stow away

Platform
Stowing slider
Sliding
rails

Sliding carriages

Base plate

Design: Platform
Van

Van Door
44.0
16.4

36.0
39.6

Design: Ratcheting Grab Bar


Allows for pull-up motion and rotation into and out of van
Hinge

Grab bar
Column
connection
block
Hinge
connection
block

Storyboard: Entry
Platform

Van
Top
View
User

Grab bar

Lifting slider

Side
View

1: Door opens

Stowing slider

2: Platform slides out

Gripping
tool

3: User rotates platform out

Storyboard: Entry

4: User lowers platform

5: User boards platform

6: User pulls himself up

Storyboard: Entry
Step 6: user pulls himself up

Storyboard: Entry
Step 7: user pushes bar
Step 8: user rotates into vehicle

Storyboard: Entry
Step 9: user stows lift

Future Work

Design
Design changes
changes
Implementation
Safety lips
Counterweight system
Modification
Grab bar
Platform rotation and
stowing
Initial testing

Further
Further evaluation
evaluation
Transport to Landsberger
Rehabilitation Engineering
lab at CSULA
Testing
Evaluation
Future prototypes

Adaptation
Adaptation for
for
commercial
commercial vehicles
vehicles
Further ParaLift development
that sparks conversation
about the disabled
community and their needs
Changes in regulations that
consider a broader spectrum
of wheelchair users

Project Management

Questions?

References

1. http://www.globalmobilityusa.org/our-board-of-directors

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmV-I7V9FYs

3. http://www.rollxvans.com/minivan-dimensions/

4. http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/60187845114_1/weight_stack_plates_hot_sale_gym_equipment.jpg

5. http://www.braunability.com/international/personal-use/wheelchair-lifts/swingaway-series

6. http://pad3.whstatic.com/images/thumb/7/79/Fix-Brakes-on-a-Bike-Step-14-Version-2.jpg/670px-FixBrakes-on-a-Bike-Step-14-Version-2.jpg