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Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/03/2007 8:14 PM

As a handicapped person that has to use crutches and wheelchairs I have all kinds of ideas to improve the situation but no outlet so far to realize these ideas. Having come from a research background in a wide variety of elctro-mechanical equipment and very hands on, it was almost my undoing to give up my shop and more importantly the companies shop and friends to help solve problems. Is there a group in CR4 interested or dealing with such matters?

I appologize for the first response I made when first joining CR4 and adding my 2 cents to the general discussion on "Why don't we all get together and build" something, I forget. I made the mistake of joinging after taking my nightly blend of meds to sleep. It all looked right to me until I checked in the next day. What an embarasment, "I'm really not that way"! Well sometimes. Anyhow I would like to get involved with interested people on a couple of projects dealing with being handicapped that are on paper now but have the potental of turning into a viable business as the boomers retire and have problems. I want to be in charge of my future again as hard as that goal seems from here. I find disabity pay demeaning, limiting and the photographers maddening, even understanding their importance. It's different when it's you, I just don't go out but once a month or so.

ANY help or info would be very much appreciated, especially in automotive, ATV, motorcycles, body forming & manufacturing, robotics, control systems, hydralic/pnuematic and gear drives.

Frank

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#1

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/03/2007 8:51 PM

What's your email address? My brother is a university professor teaching computers and automation. If you like, perhaps I can get him to get his students to come up with some software or robot that can help the handicapped. I'd love to help you myself as I have a friend who is confined to a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis, but I'm afraid my area of specialization is in water and environmental engineering.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/04/2007 12:13 AM

WATER, I love water, I was scuba qualified and have wanted to do it again but have to get the transportation problem figured out first. My address is Winchester73@cableone.net One of the ideas I have been looking at is a base that is stored in or on the vehicle something like the robot vacuum. Car seats a far more comfortable and adjustable than any wheelchair less than $30,000. I change out bad seats and buy a wrecking yard seat for $50-$100 and swap them out. My thought was a base with a scissor lift that would line up with the seat higth, roll the seat on or off, maybe a swivel seat or hinges that open past 90 degrees to allow easy access. I worked on a prototype Mars rover to test programing. The now famous rover couldn't get out of a horse shoe at the time so we were also working the problem. Remembering that exercise got me thinking about the above gizmo. To change a vehicle as is commonly done now to take a complete wheelchair is very hard to afford if insurance won't help. A basic platform built low to the ground, large wheels (speed & off road) with an electric car antenna built into or on the seat that raises a flashing strobe when moving would really blow my skirt up. I think it was one of the CR4 newsletters that mentioned robots following a line of paint or a strip in warehouse applications. Maybe side walks, it's a bear whipping along at any speed and holding a straight course. Or GPS, punch mall and sit back and watch for trouble.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/04/2007 1:18 AM

I've written to my brother about this. No promises, but I hope he's responsive to the idea. Good luck.

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#2

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/03/2007 10:11 PM

A suggestion? Posting this in "General discussion" is a good idea (and I think it would be good to keep it here as well), but probably you will get a better response by posting it in http://cr4.globalspec.com/section/biomed-biomech .

If you use your talents/knowledge of "electro-mechanical equipment", in concert with the medical profession, then everybody wins. Doctors have knowledge of "bio-mechanical" systems, but really need the engineers perspective on "how to build/manufacter" equipment.

I am ready to help, if you think I can.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/04/2007 12:23 AM

Thanks, I wondered about that group but was afraid one of them would track me down and stick my head on wheels just to see if they could. I'm still getting my sea legs on how CR4 works and I suppose I could just take my original statement and paste it onto their forum. I'll keep digging but if you know the secret of the force I'm all eyes.

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#6

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/04/2007 11:52 AM

Hi,

I'm always interested in this sort of topic (my Son is in a wheelchair)..

I'll always chip in with ideas when something specific crops up...

I look forward to some interesting threads.

All the best

Del

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/06/2007 12:54 PM

Del.

Howdy, If I could be nosey, what put your son in a wheelchair, something permanent or temporary? Has he been in one for some time and if so what have you found would be handy for your selfs or him? Is it electric or manual and can he operate it himself? If you would rather not discuss this on the open forum my email is Winchester73@cableone.net or not discuss it at all, I understand. Your experience is valuable if you could add suggestions for things that would help. I ask, as my uncle, well several members of my immediate or extended family could have used a chair or other equipment to get them out of bed and around. It is very expensive to have a person or persons around to help. In the case of those that have passed on as well as my uncle, a chair that folded up into a table (with inflatable sections), level with the bed so the could roll on, then fold back into a chair, roboticly take them to the bathroom where I have plenty of ideas to help in there, then out to the table where a bowl drops down, a choice of cereals decided, milk, medications from another dispenser & container slide out(a HUGE problem), a spoon and their set. A TV remote attached to the chair would have been a god sent. A whole business could be built on delivering and filling a medication dispenser that could be programed from the doctors office or pharmacy via phone or something else, using a uniform sized container fitting all dispensers. A remote for many things would be great, heat, radio, phone, food, mail, etc,. Might require a retrofit to the house to have a central point for goods entering the house safely, such as drugs, mail and food which would require a larger door with a cold compartment. Trying to cook almost burned the house down twice when a failing mind forgot. Sensors and cut off valves could have helped. Same with home temperature. Getting the mail left one in the snow for hours when they slipped. This was the case of the 2 that have passed away, my uncle still remaining, could benefit from mechanical help as well to remain in his home longer. The loss of control was the most difficult for all as it has been for myself as well. Glad I'm younger (about 60, young in our family, 2 aunts still drive at 96, my uncle with the problems is 92, my father just had his 86 birthday and was late because he shoveled snow and went to the pool to excercise first). Expectations are high.

I'll post a plan I had in mind after I get a project out of the way that is time sensitive, hopefully a starting point can be agreed on to focus any help. Also I thought if those members of CR4 that have ideas or experience with problems or solutions could all make a note of them, I'd save them and try and organize the list into categories to work from. You can post to my email if you don't want to use the forum because of privacy matters such as ideas for the bathroom. A place I have serious needs but don't care to discus them here. I'll keep responses on my detachable Seagate hard drive as I do any private projects and correspondence.

Thanks for the note, it's exciting to me just to discus the possibilities.

Frank

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/06/2007 1:17 PM

Hi,

He had a serious fall about 15years ago.

I can't remember the 'level' of his spinal injury, but its just below the rib cage...so no leg/bladder/bowel control. He manages everything himself, although if he's unwell he sometimes needs a little help.

He's very active, drives, has just got a new part time job (mentoring patients in a spinal injury unit) he also teaches guitar. He drives a car (hand controls fitted) and has a girl friend (he goes out dancing at the Electric Ballroom in London dressed in goth gear (good on him!).

He's living with us currently but has had his own flat in the past.

He's young enough to cope with most things on his own, he has great upper body strength and throws himself into the car quite casually (transferring is the technical term!)

Around the house I've moved the staircase back about 12" (didn't bother with building regulation approval, but it hasn't fallen down yet) and fitted a stairlift, widened an re-hung the odd door, build an accessible shower in his bedroom and added a ramp at the front of the house.

Generally he's found wheelchair access is pretty good these days and people are much better at interacting.

It's a daft thing to say..but it's quite a good time to be in a wheelchair...

The first year was the worst (very black)...they recon it takes about 5years to aclimatise to being in a chair.

In the spinal unit he was taught to cope for himself..I think this is a key point, as parents it was tempting to smother him...but we soon learned to let him get on with it and let him to ask if he needed help (MrsCat's Mother thaught we were very hard on him....but eventually came to see why).

Of course as he gets older it will become more difficult as his upper body will take a bit of a hammering.

I think the mind going is the really scary thing...physical dissabilities we can usually find a way round.

Best regards to you and yours

Del

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#7

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/05/2007 7:08 PM

We're fairly forgiving round here.

Try to post more specific details of your ideas, maybe scan some drawings & click the camara icon so we can have abetter idea of your goals.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/06/2007 2:40 PM

Yowsa,

Sorry for the long rants and small details about wheelchairs, I am working on correcting that but have to have a package in the mail in 2 hours. I came up with a new black powder revolver cartridge and a fellow I have been working with is presenting the gun he made at a conference in Las Vegas today so I'm late. Had to head stamp modified cartridges and tried all kinds of methods without success. I annealed them and have finally gained ground but now am trying to polish the discoloration off the brass so they look new. Plus finish a box and graphics. It's been way to much and if I don't make it for the conference, there are going to be a couple of magazine articles later i hope to be ready for, so I'm off, I'm off and really must be gone.

Tallyho

Frank

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#11

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/06/2007 7:04 PM

Try Tisport (Ti Sport) http://www.tilite.com/ is their Wheelchair division. These guys weld Titanium by hand and the work is amazing.

Tell them I sent ya. Sandra should remember me

Brad Isley in Burbank.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/12/2007 6:36 PM

Brad, I sent Tisport a note but was cut off in length after asking a few questions so I didn't get to mention your name but will when they get back to me. I asked if they would work with a group in coming out with a different chair, maybe making the frame to mount different wheels and motors on. I found a small ATV I think I'll try first as it is cheap, is the same size as my chair, has a 110cc engine and wheels that look like they would climb a curb. Adding a battery and motor could make it an inside/outside chair. I have everything but the ATV. Have to wait until after Christmas. I like it because it has the suspension, disc brakes, transmission and adaptable controls.

I am looking at 2 problems that keep me in the basement, a wheelchair that can really go faster than normal, have flashing lights along with normal vehicle style lights, a suspension to keep bumps and such from mashing my discs anymore than they are and a wheelchair that will climb a curb. Where I live is a relatively new part of town with all the ramps and auto doors and still I am caught in the street in a chair that has crippled me by the time I have gone to the doctor, pharmacy and back (around 1000 yards). Off road in gravel or loose dirt, let alone mud and rocks are out of the question. For $2500 or less I can buy an off road go cart with car sized tires, 250cc, water cooled engine that seats 2, has 4 wheel disc brakes, adjustable suspension, all legal lights, can go around 45 MPH with reverse. Why can't I get a wheelchair that will go 15 MPH, not beat me up and still drive up a ramp to the house for that much? Thats my goal. The second item is an easy (cheap) car mod for loading my chair. My ideal and what I have been working toward is a kit car I can modify so the rear section either hinges down to become a ramp or have it raise up out of the way, have an air suspension to let the rear end down so I can drive my chair into the driving position, air up and drive off. There are little cars out now using motorcycle engines to power them. I am not interested in a 3 wheel car. I have seen a kit car that has since gone out of business, that's a copy of a 1929 Bugatti, type 35 racer that was front engined and had a boat tail that raised up, for the VW powered version I guess. I have seen a few on Ebay for $25-$3500. Just have to get a 90 degree gear box to take the output of my Harley engine, side sprocket to a rear out put, shaft drive for my IRS Subaru rear end. I've found an electric shift and just got a catalog on air ride systems. Even a DC motor reverse drive. To me that would be the most user friendly and down right fun ride. I mean FUN! Something I'm fast forgetting anything about. I'll get some concepts up before weeks end hopefully.

Frank

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Who deals in providing handicapped equipment?

12/15/2007 7:50 PM

For those that wondered what I had in mid for a vehicle, this is what I thought could be modified to be a front engined, rear IRS air ride system to lower the back to form a ramp or raise it up out of the way.

http://mcsorley.net/locost/

Or another site http://lowster.net/duncan_005.htm

The abiliity to drive somewhere and easily get out of the car and into the store or where ever, I can't stress enough as a major stumbling block for getting out. Also for the sheer fun factor. I was watching the new show Shockwave the other day and a drag racer crashed at almost 300 mph and ended up giving up racing. "I am just existing now, life was racing". Besides the fun of being out on the road in something fun again, it is just practical for summer. Unless I run across someone on at this site that is involved in this sort of thing, contacting these folks directly to see about altering the rear end would be my next move.

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#14
In reply to #13

Whose dealing in handycapped...? changing to mechanical eng.

01/14/2008 1:54 PM

Hi all,

Hope Santa treated you all well. Just getting back to normal after traveling. I found a company that sells Lotus 7ish kits and have 2 they want to get rid of before the new and improved version comes out, storage problems. I have been discussing my idea of using a kit like that to alter with an air suspension rear end and the back panel and top over the panel folding down to make a ramp. He is excited to support that and will work within my budget. They use a Ford Seima rear drive IRS rear end only available in Europe. On the present copy of Kit Car magazine is a car similar to what I want to use that is using a Subaru WRX rear end, similar to what I am using but stronger.

I am switching to the mechanical engineering forum as the next step is a 90 deg. gear drive to take the Harley output and change it to a shaft drive. I have a Baldor catalog that has these drives, I just have to figure out the size, ratios and mounts, something those guys maybe able to help with. They have double shaft out put right angle gear heads so a reverse motor/generator could be connected. The car could charge the chair or maybe use the chair and 1 or 2 extra batteries to make a hybrid. The car on the cover of the Kit Car magazine only weighed in at around 1000 lbs.

Since the kit car came along I have dropped the chair project for the time being and focus on making a place for the car.

See you. If anyone has experience with gear heads I'm all ears.

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