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E- walker idea ?


Hey All-

I’m the new gal on the block - not round it , so I thought I'd skip proceedings and get to the main point why im here ( aside from the fact I like to learn more , meet people and of course take over the world )

The problem then , and it is big problem , is that I have disability and so Im looking at way I can get around better than I have been .

One of these ideas of late has involved basically using something called a knee walker , which you can see here[url]http://www.phc-online.com/Knee_Walker_p/neebop-785.htm[/url] , and trying to adapt it so I have electrical asssitance / power for rought terrain , typical paths here and steeper hills.

To add to this problem is the fact I know nill , not even the basics really ,of how I should go about this , other than other examples of what people have done and seem feasible .

I don’t have have soldering kits, milling machines or any of that stuff for cutting adapting frames , and TBH would rather try to avoid if i can , simply because I dont want my knee walker too look much like a DIY job / unprofessional and therefore not the credible disability device it currently is.

Speed is not issue , I guess 4mph is fine , though it would be nice to go a bit faster for more difficult ground I.e. even off road .

The tires I think I can replace with moutainboard given their the same size , ( provided wheelbase checks out ) and the battery has to be ideally be lithium I.e. as opposed to lead.


I don’t really mind whether its 2 or 4 wheel drive but figured ( because the axle is all sealed off on both sides ) a hub motor might be the only way of achieving this idea.

Any way, that’s just about it , I still need to take the wheels off to confirm the wheel base but other than that , I cant think of much more to say.

If any one has any suggestions then on how a complete beginner could make this idea a reality I’d really appreciate .

Thanks a lot

helena


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kelseymh7 years ago
Welcome to Instructables!  This sounds like a really interesting project; I hope that some of our power-drive experts will chime in with specific comments or suggestions.  You might also check out some of the external links in the Assistive Technology discussion group, as they are more specifically AT and mobility related.

The link you included is http://www.phc-online.com/Knee_Walker_p/neebop-785.htm (click on the "globe and chain" icon to make an active hyperlink).  It looks like this is meant to be used like a "razor scooter" -- you rest one knee on the pad, and propel yourself with the other foot.  Is that right?  In that case, I'd be a bit nervous about making it powered: how to you coordinate the power drive with your foot on the ground (think of a motorcycle where you're dragging your feet)?

Making a power assist, where the motor isn't strong enough to actual move you, but would allow you to use lower propulsive force, ought to be possible.  Good luck!
hele (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Hi and thanks for the welcome.

Yes , the idea is bascially like a scooter as you say where you use your right or left leg to propel you.

The speed factor would make using it bit akward too i agree,  it would probably have to very low , or propulsive as you say .

Unless there was a way to make adapt the crutch ( i already use a spring loaded one ) or footware ( like rollerskate ) to allow more direct input on my part.

Thanks again,

helena
kelseymh hele7 years ago
A spring-loaded crutch?  Is there a chance you've got a picture or link?  Oh wait...let me Google that for myself :-/ ... Ooh, interesting.  So it's an underarm (not forearm or "Canadian") style, with a spring embedded in the lower tube.  Sounds like a really cool idea, but doesn't appear to do much.

I obviously know nothing about your disability, so I'm shooting in the dark, here.  Is your concern with standing, or with walking?  Have you considered something like a Segway?  I don't me a real one; at $4k, I think that's too much to pay for coolness :-/  But I've seen both DIY versions (but do I trust them?....), as well as quite compact three-wheel versions with passive stability.
hele (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Hi,

There are actually 3 of these sorts of crutches currently available commerically , though their more shock absorbing they do provide some power return and certainly allow me to me push off and counter any deviations encountered along paths etc .

http://www.millennialmedical.com

http://www.dme-direct.com/rebound-crutch-donjoy/

i was on wooden crutches for 3 yrs before I ended up on mobility scooter for the last 18 months then back on the knee walker and for me there was one hell of a difference on these rebound crutches i.e. for  one thing you can use your body weight to help give yourself momentum rather than just your arms .


Just my 2 cents
kelseymh hele7 years ago
They are very cool; thank you for the additional information!  From the article, it sounds like some of the companies are claiming that the rebound crutches require less effort, which their analysis didn't confirm.  I can really believe that they give you a better "ride" (so to speak :-) ), and can deal better with rough terrain than a standard crutch.
> Power assist

Isn't that (kind of) the way an electric bicycle operates?


Yes, that's the picture I had in mind.  A motor not powerful enough to drive the loaded scooter, but enough to require much less force from the user.