Introduction: The THRONE: How to Fix a Crappy Industry! (pun Intended!)
My name is Mary Heacock, a.k.a. Queen Mary. "If I have to sit in a chair, I'm gonna make it a THRONE!"
The THRONE is a revolutionary new personal mobility device that will go from the backcountry to the board room and everywhere in between. The THRONE will lie fully, stand fully and is infinitely adjustable in between. The measure of success for the THRONE will be accomplishing a 22 mile weekend backpacking trip up the Enchanted Valley a.k.a the Valley of 1000 waterfalls in Western Washington. This is when I will reach success! This is absolutely unheard of in current wheelchair design. But the THRONE is about as similar to a wheelchair as a Ford Pinto is to Space X.
Step 1: Her-story
The REAL story
I saw a friends fishing net! That's how it started, I swear! But that was all the inspiration that I needed and I saw the THRONE in my mind. Crazy indeed!
I had been an extremely active outdoors person and this wheelchair is really cramping my style! We've been thinking of improving my wheelchair for quite some time. I can't even tell you how bad the wheelchair is without an hour-long rant. Suffice it to say they are horribly uncomfortable, incredibly under able and unsafe, and unbelievably expensive. So we hacked an ancient wheelchair into the off-road chair you saw in the intro video. The "prototype" is more accurately described as a proof of concept design. We have added the elements of my design as available. And even without most of the improvements, the THRONE beats traditional wheelchairs. My commercial wheelchair cost $30,000. The cheapest THRONE with significantly greater capabilities will be able to be built for about $5000 from an open source marketplace. So this all sounds fantastic and wonderful and there is absolutely no reason to buy another wheelchair ever, yeah right! So as most of you probably know the big guys really aren't interested in letting in any of us little guys and they certainly do not espouse my conviction that all of us can beat one of us. So after speaking to the US patent office and then crying for three days I made the executive decision that the THRONE will be completely open source. I am absolutely sick of their crappy marketplace so I'm going to do some about it.
Step 2: Cripple a to the Rescue!
Cripple A is an open source marketplace for mobility equipment. My vision for Cripple A is to provide an open source community to sky rocket innovation while burying the cost. The plan is to provide resources for inventors to become manufacturers and cripples to have greater choice. As much fun as I have with the Cripple A logo, this truly is about much more than cripples. The THRONE is much more than a wheelchair. It has significantly greater market potential through other avenues such as city commuting and wilderness search and rescue. The THRONE even has remote control capabilities for extracting injured patients. But one of the most important reasons why Cripple A is not the best name. (And it has nothing to do with the appropriateness of using the term cripple!) Any reasonable person knows that there are many, many more crappy industries out there that would benefit greatly from the Queen's treatment. Give me a bit to work out the kinks in Cripple A and we will give you an open source model marketplace! Elon Musk released his IP. That just screams for innovation. If Elon got this far, imagine how far all of us can take it!
Step 3: Action
So how do we actually do this? Good question! I've been working on this solution for quite some time. And guess what, the solution involves you.I used Autodesk Fusion 360 to design the THRONE. Fusion is free for noncommercial use. Fusion was built for collaboration. I suggest we use the collaborative capability of Fusion for our design platform.I know my design is good. I also know it is a long way from being complete. And I definitely know that it will only be improved by community input. So here is where you come in. Remember, I'm doing this for the first time too. So I will give you what I think should be the next steps. But, as always, your input is really what will make the difference. The video above is a short introduction to the THRONE and Cripple A. As you will see, I have some excellent ideas, but lack a cohesive story. It needs help! Please understand, I am not asking for money yet, that will come later. But it will tell you the story of where I am going and hope to end up. I have put together a short action list if someone would like to help me in this project directly.
I will also link to the resources that Ryan used to build the prototype. I know that you are disappointed that this isn't step-by-step instructions. But I don't know the step-by-step instructions and Ryan is my full-time caregiver as well as an executive manager at work. I just can't ask him to do any more!
So what do you say? Do you want to join the Queen's crew?
Step 4: Join the Queen's Crew
Right now it's me. And I simply cannot do this by myself. I truly need co-conspirators to hijack the economy. This marketplace represents a giant leap forward for the maker movement. This will be a catalyst to change the world. Facebook connected the world and we will empower the world!
If you would like to participate or even just find more information. Visit our website
Please leave your email address to join your name to our supporters. Email lists count. I don't have money, but I have my friends! I am very respectful of my friends and hate junk. I will do my very best not to overwhelm you with regular emails! I promise this list will only be used a few times to distribute information on where to get more emails.
Please consider answering the survey questions to help me refine my idea and marketing strategy. Please keep in mind it is just me and I am not an excellent web designer! I don't even have a form yet. But I am very open to intervention.
a.k.a. Queen Mary,
" If I have to sit in a chair, I might as well make it a THRONE!"
2 years ago
Are you still working on this idea? If you haven’t already researched other wheelchair designs you should. There are a lot of other designs out there though some really good ones may not be in production you will learn some useful things along the way.
the other commenter had some very good ideas about basic design components upon which other features can be added.
7 years ago
Thanks for your thoughts Downunder35m,
I agree with you. The THRONE follows your fantastic advice. But the biggest thing that the THRONE will accomplish is revamping our disability equipment market. Right now, as stupid as it is, the insurance companies dictate what the disabled person will receive. Not the doctors, the physical therapist, the caregivers, or even the cripple. That is wrong. But the way the THRONE is built as components and our learning algorithms to manufacture the perfect THRONE for the cripples needs. This is an unthinkable idea until the THRONE. It appears that I have not done a good enough job of explaining the features and benefits of the THRONE. This is valuable information for me to go forward. Can I share my features and benefits with you for your opinion? I also have started the learning algorithm questionnaire for the cripples, and the caregivers. Would you be willing to take a look at that and tell me what you think. It's pretty short.
The goal of the marketplace is to empower micromanufacturing starting with the mobility market but it will grow to serve other markets. It is extremely difficult to produce any real change without a great deal of money. I aim to help small and/or collaborative manufacturers get to the first thousand units. This is the number of the major hurdle. I am told that if you can get to the first thousand you are then big enough to pay attention to. I learned the hard way that I'm not big enough. I think we should be working to increase availability of inventive products that are wanted. So this is how we'll go forward. I know this can and will change the world. The only question is us or them. Someday eventually this will be done. Let's make it happen together!
7 years ago
I think it is quite bad that you are not somewhere around my area.
Had modified a few scooters in the past with things like bigger battery systems, solar panels (yes we have too much sun here :( ) and in one case even with a little suspension for an offroad prototype with petrol engine.
You should first design a concept for the frame based on what sizes tyres, batteries, motor(s) and so on you want to use.
Simple box steel frame for the start.
It should designed so that it suits the impaired persons body, meaning you have to count in weight of the driver, capabilities and mobility.
The center of gravity should be kept as low as possible so maximum stability for ride is accomplished - batteries should always be at the lowest point possible.
For example if the driver is quite big and heavy you might want think of using an extra set of batteries as "ballast" to lower the center of gravity - especially important if you want to design something for off road use.
For the seats I would prefer bucket seats as used to make your car look fancy.
Not the deep ones with the extra deep seat hole, just normal seat with side support and additional side support for the side of the seat.
If a normal seating position is out of the question I would use expanding builders foam or a big polystyrene block to carve a seat.
Best the help of an experienced physio therapist or the person caring for the disabled person.
Once the seat has the right fit for best comfort the plastic "bucket seat" that mounts to the scooter can be ordered or self made - if in doubt use fibreglass ;)
You see the list can go on and on once you start to think about details and special requirements for the driver.