Amputee Mobility Scooter

Amputee Mobility Scooter – 2002-05

Research Associate at The Royal College of Art, with CoBiRD who provided medical expertise and Ian Harris of Motivation wheelchairs.

CoBiRD came to us with a very simple and brilliant idea, a folding scooter with a seat as a mobility aid for amputees.
A lightweight, low cost, assistive device that is potentially adaptable to a wide range of current wheelchair users.

Design challenges:

As well as meeting the challenge of designing assistive technology, we also needed to understand and meet constraints of design for Malawi and for UK with low and high tech manufacture and off-road and urban models.

The aluminium plates on the prototype allowed us to adjust the wheelbase and handling of the scooter and the folding stunt peg was one of a range of interchangeable touchpoints for different users.

My contribution to the project was:

  • The majority of the design, development and engineering.
  • Human Centred Design research and user testing with amputees.
  • Designing and made 5 different iterations of the prototypes and arranged production of 3 final prototypes for user testing.

It was an amazing learning opportunity, sadly the project was shelved soon after I stopped working on it. This project has amazing potential and really deserves to be restarted.

2 Academic Papers and a video
McCahill J, Stebbins J, Bates J, Batchelor A, Church J, Lavy C. The African Disability Scooter: preliminary analysis of a new mobility aid. Disability Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2009 Sep; 4(5):353-6.

The second prototype allowed us to rapidly understand and optimise the frame geometry and handling.

Solidworks 2004 Renders