Student's 'Wheelchair for the 21st Century' Wins Praise for Its Innovative Design
A fourth-year student at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland, Piersa and his team of fellow students -- Milosz Jamrozy; Bogusz Radziemski; Igor Modelski; Kamil Ruszczyk and Rafal Krzysiak -- from the Faculty of Mechatronics department developed the "Wheelchair for the 21st Century" using Inventor and submitted the design to the Autodesk Inventor Student Design Contest, where it was selected as the grand-prize winner. The team of students is part of the Biomedical Equipment Students' Scientific Association at the university. Committed to modernizing existing biomedical devices as well as designing and constructing new equipment, the team recently submitted two patent requests to the Polish Patent Department.
Autodesk launched the Inventor Student Design Contest through the Student Engineering and Design Community ( http://www.students.autodesk.com) in January 2007, furthering its ongoing commitment to education by encouraging students to enter their innovative 3D designs created with Inventor software. The judges critiqued the entries based on their broad use of Inventor capabilities, innovation and overall aesthetic appeal. The winning "Wheelchair for the 21st Century" concept design represents a significant improvement over many current wheelchairs. Thanks to the employment of a gyroscope mounted underneath the seat, the wheelchair maintains a vertical position without using its auxiliary wheels. Additionally, the innovative frame design and transmission create a new level of stability and maneuverability. The result is an attractive wheelchair that can easily be controlled by the user.
"We wanted to completely rethink traditional wheelchair design and create a new level of functionality," said Piersa. "With Inventor, we were able to fully explore our ideas and focus on the specific problems we were trying to solve rather than spending time solely on the 3D geometry required to build the design."
Using Inventor allowed Piersa to easily create an accurate digital prototype of the wheelchair and confirm that the scores of moving parts all worked together seamlessly before building it. Additionally, specialized functionality for tube design reduced the amount of time required to create the wheelchair's tubes and welded connections. Finally, Autodesk Inventor Studio allowed the creation of high-quality, photorealistic renderings and animations within the Inventor design environment -- helping present intuitive renderings of design ideas throughout the process and the ability to communicate the team's design intent.
"With the 'Wheelchair for the 21st Century,' Michael Piersa and his team have brought a fresh perspective to a device that has been in use for centuries," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, senior vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions. "Their ground-breaking wheelchair concept design could positively impact millions of people and we are proud of the way Inventor has helped the team to experience their ideas before they are built."
Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the more than 600,000 users of Autodesk Inventor software, the foundation for Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information on Autodesk Inventor of the Month, contact us at Email Contact.
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