I only prototyped one more product for the two week product design sprint. This didn’t make onto a more refined model, despite this final prototyped idea also being one that I’ve been toying around with since the original 100 sketches that we did for thesis. Remember this guy?
Functional Electrical Stimulation [FES], as a way of reminder, is a way that therapists can allow people with spinal cord injuries to exercise their legs despite their lack of control. FES externally stimulates the muscles of the leg through the skin, and when it is applied in sequence, patients can pedal bikes. I wanted to push this concept further by building/designing a wheelchair that integrated this FES technique in order to let users ride themselves around. After talking to several experts, I realized that no one would want this wheelchair for very long since it would be extremely heavy, decreasing their overall efficiency and ability to get around.
I came up with the idea that the FES portion of the bike ought to be detachable and somewhat modular, allowing users to leave it at home when they want to, I tried to configure how this would work in my sketches, and prototyped the overall shape and feel of the product, in order to get a sense for the relative proportions of the product.
If I wanted this design to succeed or be viable, I’d have to do a lot of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering work in order to make sure that the clamping system and the FES systems worked. Here are some images of the actual prototype, made mostly to figure out sizing and scale: