WHIRLWIND'S PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT
CAMPAIGN FOR PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT
CURRENT DESIGNS IN PROGRESS
In 2017, Whirlwind made breakthroughs on two designs that we have been working on for a couple of years. The OmniRider is based on the RoughRider’s long wheelbase for active outdoor use in rough outdoor conditions but with a rigid frame. The new key feature is a seat that the user can easily slide forward to get closer to tables, toilets, bathtubs etc. The improved indoor performance added to the RoughRider’s acclaimed outdoor performance should make the OmniRider the wheelchair of choice for people who can afford only one wheelchair. The OmniRider should be in production by June 2019. Whirlwind plans to offer the OmniRider in a number of different configurations based on user priorities for cost, weight, and performance.
Whirlwind created the electric RoughRider in 2014 and the early problems with the motors and the joystick controller have been solved. For more than 2 years, Whirlwind’s Bruce Curtis has been riding a power RoughRider made by our Georgian partners. Lightweight at 70 pounds (35 kg) compared to other power wheelchairs, this foldable power wheelchair can be disassembles and and is easy to take on the airlines, easy to get into the trunk of a car and performs flawlessly on a variety of rough outdoor surfaces.
Lighter Weight RoughRider
Whirlwind is also experimenting with ways to reduce the weight of the RoughRider by using different materials for the frame but keeping the proven design unchanged. An aluminum, foldable, RoughRider is currently being prototyped. Aluminum would mainly be for the developed countries since it can fatigue and crack and then requires special welding equipment to repair that is often unavailable outside of major cities in developing countries.
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
In the wheelchair design process, each design requires the production of 3 to 6 prototypes before all bugs are worked out and it is fully tested. We currently use rapid prototyping at a factory in China. Each prototype iteration costs about $4000 including shipping to the US.
We currently have 3 designs on the drawing board!
Donate to the Wheelchair Prototype Development Fund
START DATE - JUNE 2018
LOCATION - WORLDWIDE
BENEFITING - WHEELCHAIR USERS
CATEGORY - PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT