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Zipfel, Emily (2007) DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PEDIATRIC WHEELCHAIR WITH TILT-IN-SPACE SEATING. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Pediatric Adjustable Lightweight Modular (PALM) wheelchair project consisted of three design iterations, full-scale working prototypes, durability testing and user evaluation, and technology transfer activities. User input was crucial to developing design requirements. A handful of concepts developed for this design are novel in the wheelchair market and potentially beneficial to pediatric wheelchair users and their caregivers. Some of the concepts could be applied to other wheelchair designs in the future, including adult tilt-in-space wheelchairs and seating for both adults and children. The PALM's primary construction consists of modular plastic injection molded components and straight tubes. This feature allows it to be easily customized on site by a therapist who can swap components and make adjustments. The modular design also allows it to be packed more compactly thereby decreasing manufacturing and shipping costs. Second, the tilt-in-space mechanism utilizes a unique four-bar linkage design that decreases the need for small moving parts such as rollers and spring loaded mechanisms used in other tilt-in-space center-of-gravity chairs. Third, the PALM's modular design allows for greater flexibility in the configuration of the wheelchair and adaptation to different-sized bodies. Fourth, the PALM is highly adjustable and selectable: The seat depth, seat width, back rest height, back rest angle, leg rest angle, footrest angle, seat-to-floor height, and axle position are all adjustable. Finally, the PALM converts from an attendant-style wheelchair to a self-propelled wheelchair. These features create a variety of characteristics that clearly distinguish the PALM from other currently available pediatric wheelchairs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zipfel, Emilyezipfel@pitt.eduEZIPFEL
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberBoninger,
Committee MemberCooper, Rosemariecooperr@upmc.eduCOOPERRM
Date: 12 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 5 July 2007
Approval Date: 12 September 2007
Submission Date: 31 July 2007
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: aesthetic; anthropometry; country; design; developing; focus group; modular; pediatric; prototype; questionnaires; seating; testing; tilt-in-space; usability; user-centered; wheelchair
Other ID:, etd-07312007-152721
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:36


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