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Wheelchair Stair Climber Answered

Hi.  After a really bad car accident, my best friend is paralyzed from the waist down.  He's confined to a wheelchair.  He's also a big guy, 6'4 250lbs, and his house has a flight of stairs.  He uses a service to take him to appointments, and they send two guys to carry him down, and then up, but it's extremely expensive. 

I googled wheelchair stair climbers, and there are a couple, but they are also really expensive and huge! 

He uses a pretty standard invacare wheelchair.  I was wondering why there isn't an inexpensive or DIY alternative, basically a stair climbing robot with a powerful motor and battery. 

Can anyone help me build one?  Or if someone builds one, I would be willing to pay for parts and labor. 



I've been thinking about a box lifter for a while now and this is how far I've gotten:
I am thinking of a lift from my basement up to inside a kitchen cabinet to keep things cool but not fridge cold.

do any of these pieces help your planning? they might join kiteman's winch idea. good luck, s

If its his house, what about just a stairlift ?

With all the lawyer's out there, the liability of selling such a device would be tremendous. Just watching the video it seems the attendant or helper would need to be able to employ that device properly and be able to react to it possibly tipping over or getting stuck. It is essentially an all-terrain manual forklift.

Maybe you can contact this person(MIT prof and hacker). They might have a few ideas already since they do a lot of mobile/robot/vehicle projects.  Good luck.

If you're needing to climb a single flight of stairs, I would think about winching a platform up and down rails you set in the side of the stairs.

You will need to spend a lot of time thinking about safety, though: clamps to stop the chair rolling off the platform, smooth starts and stops to prevent damaging jerks, and emergency braking to stop your friend suffering even more injuries if the power fails.