IDeA Canada competition: Enhanced Mobility Wheelchair

October 19, 2020
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Jared Uramowski: My name is Jared Uramowski, I’m from the University of Waterloo studying Mechanical Engineering.

Matthew Levi: My name is Matthew Levi, I’m from the University of Waterloo, also studying Mechanical Engineering.


Text on screen: [Innovative Designs for Accessibility logo. Tell us about your project.]

Jared Uramowski: Our project is essentially the more optimal design of a wheelchair. So what often happens with accessibility devices is that they’re only applicable to a certain speed or a certain area. So we wanted to combine several different wheelchair devices and create the optimal wheelchair that’s a little more efficient and a little more ergonomically beneficial.

Voice off-screen: Describe your project in one or two sentences.


Matthew Levi: So essentially we took a wheelchair and modified it to give it a more ergonomic design. The user, instead of putting their hands on dirty or cold wheels, has levers to grab onto and they can really push it forward with bigger, stronger muscle groups to make it more user friendly.

Jared Uramowski: The wheelchair design hasn’t changed in decades and so we’re trying to add a little bit of innovation into that area.

Matthew Levi: In developing the project, we actually got the chance to use a wheelchair and realized how difficult they are to use, and it’s a problem that people face every single day, which is really eye-opening to us. We actually contacted a wheelchair basketball coach and we talked with him about what the actual issues facing people with a disability are, and it turned out that things that we had imagined are not exactly what the truth is. It was really helpful to put yourself in their shoes and realize that as much you want to come up with solutions, you have to come up with solutions to problems that actually exist.


Text on screen: [Innovative Designs for Accessibility logo]

Jared Uramowski and Matthew Levi, students at the University of Waterloo and winners of the 2019 Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) competition, discuss the Enhanced Mobility Wheelchair prototype they designed, which offers wheelchair users enhanced mobility, comfort, maneuverability and speed compared to a traditional wheelchair.

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