Bradley Zakaib, Colin Goodman, Kristyn Zoschke
One of the most common assistive devices for people who use wheelchairs is the grab bar. These are railings that a generally mounted to the wall in a fixed position in public accessible washrooms to help the user move from their wheelchair onto the toilet. The non-personalized nature of the classic grab bar can cause people to lose faith in their ability to transfer themselves to the toilet without falling, getting winded, or embarrassed. Brett Lyons, founder of Your Mobility Innovations and person living with cerebral palsy, partnered with Queen’s Biomedical Innovation Team (QBiT) to develop . Among other requirements, the product was to be adjustable in height and require only limited dexterity to use while able to support up to 400 pounds. The final design implemented the use of an “S” shaped bar along with a hand crank actuated gear train consisting of a rack and pinion, worm gear, and bevel gears. A full-scale prototype of this design was created by QBiT and tested by Brett. Future work based on user feedback would include reducing bar wobble, creating a custom hand crank, and covering the rack teeth. The prototype cost $2650 to produce, but would ideally be sold for $1500, resulting in a possible $2,314,950 of profit for Your Mobility Innovations.