Abstract. This paper aims to tackle the problem of wheelchair bound personnel being unable to climb footpaths due to the absence of ramps on many pavements. The paper suggests a mechanical solution the problem that is simple yet effective in that it allows a wheelchair user to independently climb footpaths with minimal or no assistance. The design, which can be mounted onto any standard wheelchair, uses retractable control rods and an inbuilt ramp to lay an inclined plane in front of the wheelchair when needed, allowing the handicapped person to ascend or descend a step. This paper delineates the function and construction of each component of the proposed system and illustrates the same using both line diagrams and three dimensional computer generated models. It also investigates the various materials available for the construction of the device, whilst stating safety requirements and ensuring that the design adheres to them. Finally, it ends by describing the mode of operation of the device, and possibilities for future development of the design.

Keywords: Adaptable ramp, retractable plane, modular wheelchair

Paper published in International Journal of Mechanical Engineering & Technology (IJMET), Volume 10, Issue 06, June 2019, pp. 187-193, Article ID: IJMET_10_06_013. Paper open access and available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3451147