The Center for Discovery is developing an open-source power add-on to quickly convert any manual wheelchair into a power chair.
Power wheelchairs are critical in providing independence to people with mobility limitations—but are expensive and often not covered by insurance, leaving many users limited to manual wheelchairs.
With a $1.125M grant from Google.org, the Center for Discovery will continue developing an open source power add-on initially built at the Center’s on-site maker’s lab, which quickly converts any manual wheelchair into a power chair.
The power add-on will offer the mobility and freedom of a power chair for around 1/7 of the average cost, and will allow users who mainly use a manual wheelchair to benefit from power when they need it. At scale, the device will increase mobility for hundreds of thousands of people.