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Redesign, Clinical Testing and Evaluation of the Endeavor Folding Wheelchair

Olson, Joseph John (2009) Redesign, Clinical Testing and Evaluation of the Endeavor Folding Wheelchair. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis describes the history of the Endeavor folding wheelchair. In its current incarnation, it is an adjustable folding manual wheelchair conceptually based on a diamond shaped truss (similar to a bicycle). By disconnecting this truss at two points, the chair is able to fold flat enough to fit in the overhead bin of an airplane. It also features "airplane wheels" for maneuvering down the aisle of an airplane, taking the place of a boarding chair.The main part of the study was a clinical trial to gain feedback on the current chair design. The first phase of the study involved users performing obstacles encountered on a daily basis using the Endeavor and their personal chair. In the second phase, users took the chair home to see how the chair would function in their everyday lives.Because participants were comparing the Endeavor to their personal chairs, much of the feedback received was based primarily on the differences between the geometry and options of the Endeavor and their personal chairs.Based on the clinical results, the most important features that the Endeavor is lacking are: a more forgiving seatpan, and a more effective range of adjustability. In the future, a more organized approach based on product development methods should be used to develop better design criteria.The results of this study showed that in its current form, the Endeavor folding wheelchair may best be a special-purpose chair. By addressing all of the safety concerns, improving the ranges of adjustability to match the dimensions of the users in our focus group, and adding usability related options the chair may be able to function as an everyday wheelchair for many users.When our take-home participants were asked if they would like their chair better if they had "airplane wheels" five of the nine agreed. With some redesign to increase ease of use and decrease weight they could be marketed as their own product.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Olson, Joseph Johnjjo22@pitt.eduJJO22
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCooper, Rory Arcooper@pitt.eduRCOOPER
Committee MemberKelleher, Annmarieakellehe@pitt.eduAKELLEHE
Committee MemberBoninger,
Date: 2 February 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 September 2008
Approval Date: 2 February 2009
Submission Date: 1 December 2008
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: in home testing; wheeled mobility
Other ID:, etd-12012008-174620
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:07
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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