Amos Winter has married a wheelchair with a mountain bike and a lever. Why would he do this, you ask? To serve the 40 million people worldwide who need a wheelchair but don’t have access to one — nor to the conveniences like elevators, ramps, sidewalk cutouts and bus lifts that make wheelchair use a possibility.
As Winter explains in today’s TED Talk, given at TEDxBoston, the majority of people who need wheelchairs live in rural communities, where rough terrain and long distances between buildings render a wheelchair unrealistic. Winter — a mechanical engineer at MIT — sought to create a chair that would cost less than $200, be easily repairable, be able to travel 5 kilometers easily, and still be nimble enough for use indoors.
To see how Winter created a chair that meets all these requirements by including a lever and getting lots of field testing from real users, give his talk a listen — it’s truly fascinating.
Above, Winter’s talk has been rendered in foam and marker by the design think tank Collective Next. For the past four years, the group has created looping visualizations of the talks given at TEDxBoston — showing the rich web of connections that emerge between assorted speakers and their ideas. After the jump, see more of their incredible designs, created for other speakers at TEDxBoston 2012 who have appeared on TED.com.
See the rest of these graphics, and how they fit together, at the Collective Next website.