Design and Development of a New Tilt-in-Space Pediatric Wheelchair

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Emily Zipfel BFA, Rory Cooper PhD, Jonathan Pearlman MS, Mark McCartney, Jeremy Puhlman BS

Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


In cases where medical reimbursement is not a problem, many children who cannot self-propel manual wheelchairs and need tilt-in-space seating, receive power chairs. However, in much of the world, power wheelchairs are not an option. In these cases manual attendant-style chairs are a reasonable alternative. This new pediatric wheelchair was developed to meet the need for high quality wheelchairs in developing countries. Key features include; a compact lightweight modular design, exchangeable manual-propulsion/ attendant-propulsion wheels, adjustable axle position and adjustable seating. The modular chair will break down into small components in order to be easily and inexpensively shipped. In addition, the chair will be designed for low cost indigenous manufacture in India in order to meet a need in the international market. The design will exist in two forms, one specifically for manufacture and use in developing countries and another for use in developed countries where more expensive materials are available.


wheelchair, pediatric, tilt-in-space, modular, developing countries


Emily Zipfel.
2534 Beechwood Blvd.
Pittsburgh PA.15217.