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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a wheelchair prototype to allow individuals with mobility in third-world countries greater mobility in and outdoors providing personal freedom. Amos Winter, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering, along with a team of undergraduates at MIT and international design collaborators designed the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). The LFC performs like a combination of a desk chair and a mountain bike "something you can comfortably sit in all day and maneuver around the office, but also use to efficiently commute to and from work”. Constructed from widely available, cheap bicycle parts, the LFC features two large levers attached to a bicycle drivetrain that helps the chair power through mud and over rocky paths. The user simply pushes two levers located on each side of the LFC and he or she can change mechanical advantage by moving hand position in order to go fast on flat ground or to produce enough torque to travel over sand or through mud. The removable levers hook into a bicycle drivetrain that has been converted to work on a wheelchair and is made entirely of bicycle parts that can be found throughout the developing world. This means that the LFC can be made and repaired anywhere one has access to a hacksaw, welder, drill and vice. TITLE: New wheelchair gets its first real-world test. AUTHOR: Morgan Bettex. WEBSITE: MIT News Office. REF: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/amos-wheelchair-0218.html.
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