Category: lower extremity disabilities

Custom Adapted Wheelchair Lawnmower

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---- CUSTOMIZED ADAPTATION --------- PURPOSE: To create a custom adapted lawn mower for an avid gardener and an individual enjoys working on her garden and also uses a manual wheelchair. Since sustaining a spinal cord injury, a woman uses a manual wheelchair for mobility but as a result she is no longer able to push a lawn mower and propel her wheelchair at the same time. To create a wheelchair lawnmower, a string line trimmer was modified to operate similar to an upright vacuum cleaner, pushing and pulling with one arm. A mount was added to the user’s wheelchair so she could easily transport the mower to and from her shed. The design consists of three major components including a string line trimmer, wheels to provide support and mobility, and a mounting device to secure the trimmer on the wheelchair. A commercially available trimmer (Worx GT String Trimmer/Edger) was chosen because of its high capacity, lightweight lithium battery and its adjustability. The trimmer has an extendable shaft and a rotating joint that allows adjustment of the angle of the handle relative to the cutting head. A locking mechanism was removed from the joint to allow free motion of the handle (e.g. like an upright vacuum cleaner) to ensure the string remains level while cutting. Support and mobility was achieved by attaching wheels to the string trimmer. The weight is supported by the two large wheels on either side of the cutting head. In addition, a pair of small wheels was attached directly behind the trimmer to provide additional points of contact with the ground so that the cutting head remains level. The side wheels are adapted from a pull cart for golf bags, and they were attached to the trimmer by a custom connector fabricated from HDPE plastic. The rear wheels were attached to the trimmer’s edging guard. A mower mount was connected to the front of the client’s wheelchair to hold the mower while Rhonda moves to different locations in her yard, or to and from her storage shed. This “gun rack” mount was created using PVC tubing, which connects to the wheelchair using a custom mounting bracket. The overall design effectively allows the woman to mow her lawn independently and efficiently. The cost to develop the device is $296, including the cost of the Worx string trimmer. TITLE: Wheelchair Lawnmower. JOURNAL: NSF 2010 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities. REF: Chapter 7: pp. 70-71. PAGES: 3 with cover. 2010.


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Custom Adapted Wheelchair Lawnmower

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