Category: Lower Extremity Disabilities

Adapted Paddle Launch Vehicle (Aplv)

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of an adapted paddle launch vehicle that allows for the launch and retrieval of a kayak and also allows the kayaker to transfer from their wheelchair to the kayak then safely launch the kayak into the water from a boat ramp. There were five major requirements for the adapted padded launch vehicle (APLV): (1) the device should be accessible to the widest possible range of users; (2) transfer from the wheelchair to the kayak should be comfortable and safe; (3) the device should be able to transport 2 kayakers (a person with the disability and a volunteer who shares the kayak) and the kayak itself from the top of the boat ramp to the water and back up safely; (4) the vehicle should be easily transported to and from the launch site; and (5) the vehicle should requires little maintenance. The development team used a solution consisting of two independent systems. The first is a commercially available hoist which is used to transfer a person from a wheelchairs into and out of the kayak. The second system is the APLV, which is used to transport riders and kayak to and from the water. The APLV has a rigid frame. It consists of two main rails that support the riders and kayak. These two main rails are detachable with locking pins to allow for easy transportation of the vehicle to the launch site. The rear axle is mounted to the rails and has a handlebar attached to allow for steering. A Delrin flanged bushing acts as the steering mechanism bearing which results in low wear, a smooth feeling and will require no maintenance. Delrin bushings also support the wheels so they roll with much less resistance. Delrin is a high-strength, low-friction plastic that is lightweight and non-corrosive, making it ideal for the salt-water environment. The handlebar is equipped with a dead man's brake that uses a bicycle hydraulic bicycle disc brake for speed control of the APLV as it is led down the incline of the boat ramp. This can also be used as an emergency brake. A dead man's brake works like a traditional brake, except the lever is released rather than pulled to engage the brake. With this feature, the cart will automatically stop if the person steering loses their grip on the handle bars. The rigid frame allows for ropes to be attached to the vehicle to help pull the loaded cart out of the water and up the boat ramp if necessary. The vehicle is fabricated by using common sizes and parts that are readily available from vendors. The APLV frame is made from 6061-T6 aluminum. This aluminum is selected due to its non-corrosive properties and high strength-to-weight ratio. The wheels are rated for a load roughly twice that which is anticipated in use. Other parts including the bicycle brake system and various fasteners are readily available and easy serviced. The total cost to produce the prototype is $1,166.00. TITLE: The Adapted Paddle Launch Vehicle. JOURNAL: NSF 2010 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities. REF: Chapter 6: pp. 48-49. PAGES: 3 with cover. 2010.


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Adapted Paddle Launch Vehicle (Aplv)