Folding wheelchair wheels
Duncan Fitzsimons, James Dyson Fellow 2010
These patent-pending foldable wheels are full-sized wheels that can be used on bicycles or wheelchairs and can be folded down to a convenient size and shape for storage and transportation when not in use. The wheel has a simple and robust construction, uses a standard tyre and can be folded and re-deployed quickly and easily, all with the tyre fully inflated and in place on the wheel rim.
The folding wheelchair wheels, in development by James Dyson Innovation Fellow, Duncan Fitzsimons at the Royal College of Art (RCA), overcome some of the major challenges facing manual wheelchair users and will significantly improve the everyday experience of living with, and using a manual wheelchair.
The wheels have been successfully demonstrated on bicycles and wheelchairs, delivering a safe, smooth ride with greater flexibility and manoeuvrability. Feedback from users has been tremendous with 81 per cent of users confirming that if a wheelchair with folding wheels was available, they would buy it instead of their current wheelchair.
In a Royal College of Art study, all manual wheelchair users said they experienced problems with car travel and 68 per cent cited the difficulty of getting the chair and wheels into the car and the resulting lack of space as being the main problems. The folding wheels overcome these problems giving the user greater independence and mobility.
The Folding wheels are covered by European Patent Application 07252385.5, International Patent Application PCT/GB2008/002015, US2010201098 (A1), CN101678707 (A), EP2164714 (A1) and other pending applications.
The wheels have been licensed to leading home healthcare provider, Maddak for use on wheelchairs and are being marketed in the USA as Morph™. We are ready to license the wheels in other areas.
For further information contact InnovationRCA.
With thanks to the James Dyson Foundation for their generous support.