We had a busy time last Saturday with 30 makers hacking the idea of what a wheelchair can be.
#HackOnWheels is the brainchild of our Maker in Residence Rachael Wallach and the make-athon brought together wheelchair users, designers, engineers, and makers to design, develop and test the first open source wheelchair designs.
According to the World Health Organization over 65 million people need a wheelchair to be part of society and live an independent life. To give freedom a wheelchair must be customized to the body, environment, and lifestyle of its user. Due to the prohibitive price of traditional design manufacturing, and distribution 52 million people who need a wheelchair are deprived of this freedom.
The group believes that user led design, digital fabrication, open hardware, and the maker movement can change this. During the day they made headway into establishing an online library on Wevolver.com of opensource designs and instructions for making fully customizable wheelchairs that anyone can freely use, adapt and develop.
Anyone can get involved: http://www.hackonwheels.org/