Individuals using a wheelchair can find it difficult to carry, open and hold an umbrella while operating the chair. As a result, they either get wet when it rains, or avoid going outside if there is a possibility of rain.
The goal is to create a system that attaches to a wheelchair that gives an individual with disabilities access to an umbrella. Prof. Ventura connected the group with an individual who uses a wheelchair, and the design is being developed through discussions with him. The design will focus on improvements to automated wheelchairs, and will be based on an automated canopy design (similar to the one on a baby carriage). The group is using Solidworks to create assemblies for the final wheelchair umbrella model and working on finding off the shelf components that will be needed while learning about arduino programing.
This project is in progress. The design is complete and construction of a prototype has begun.