The Leveraged Freedom Chair from the MIT Mobility lab was featured in the Wall Street Journal last month as one of “the year’s most impressive inventions.” (December 2011)
Designed by Amos Winter, Founder and Director of the MIT Mobility Lab, the LFC had its start in the 2008 MIT IDEAS Competition (now the IDEAS Global Challenge). It was built for specifically for wheelchair users in developing countries who need to travel long distances on rougher terrain.
The LFC is more maneuverable than a standard pushrim chair, due to the two levers used to drive the chair at various gears. The further advantage of the LFC is that it can be built from and repaired with simple bicycle parts, which are easily available in developing countries.
After winning first place in the MIT IDEAS Competition, the team constructed and tested the first generation prototypes in Kenya and Vietnam. Reiterations of the chair were further tested across East Africa, and are currently being tested in Guatemala and India. A new model that will be sold in the United States is also being developed in Boston.
A link to the article (login necessary): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204552304577115143024715100.html
A link to the Leveraged Freedom Chair website: http://mlab.mit.edu/lfc/Welcome.html
For more information, please contact:
MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Coordinator
Kmytty (at) mit (dot) edu