Personal Mobility and the Wheelchair


This course takes as its starting point a research document about wheelchairs and personal mobility prepared by thinkmore, an industrial design and technology development company. All teams explore various aspects of the design problem: human factors (ergonomics, physiology, medical issues), engineering (propulsion, materials and processes), marketing / branding strategy, sales, distribution and service – with the ultimate goal of creating working prototypes of a real-world, all-day, everyday wheelchair.


The wheelchair that is commonly used by people with physical disabilities has not changed much over the last 50 years. When analyzed from the points of view of performance, user satisfaction and market need, there was clearly a lot of room for improvement.

Proposed User Experience

With valuable insights and very positive feedback from wheelchair users and potential financial partners, the team moves towards bringing these ideas to market with the participation of, IIT Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at the Stuart School of Business and the Institute of Design, IIT.


The team made prototypes to help understand the mechanical structure and implementability.

Hemmant Jha
Anthony Caspary
Benjamin Davis
Elise Metzger
Eugene Limb
Hans Mickelson
Helen Tong
Hsin-Cheng Lin
Ji Sun Park
Junyoung Yang
Stelios Makridis
Xiaonan Huang
Young Jin Chung

Hemmant Jha

Completion date: 01/04/2010

  • Personal Mobility and the Wheelchair Prototype1
  • Personal Mobility and the Wheelchair Prototype2