Rough Rider Wheelchair
Whirlwind Wheelchair International, Ralph Hotchkiss
Countries: USA, South Africa, Turkey, Georgia, Mexico, Vietnam, Indonesia.
RoughRiders are purchased by international NGOs, governments, and individuals engaged in local wheelchair provision. This list of field partners is available.
BOGO program in US makes the RoughRider available to US consumers starting $875 USD, which covers the cost of an additional RoughRider for donation to someone in a developing country. End users in developing countries receive RoughRiders as a donation from community organizations.
Free Wheelchair Mission, Rough Terrain Wheelchair (Motivation UK), Leveraged Freedom Chair (MIT Mobility Lab), ROC Wheels (Reach Out and Care). A list of organizations distributing wheelchairs in the developing world (their own design and/or second-hand) is referenced.
Goal 3: to improve and promote good health.
Wheelchair users in developing countries who are in need of wheelchairs that can withstand rugged terrain such as in urban slums and rural villages.
Components are mass produced in regional factories.
Can be purchased directly from the designer. BOGO program available. RoughRiders are distributed by community organizations based on predetermined needs in developing countries.
End users are identified by community organizations engaged in wheelchair provision in local communities. Whirlwind has reached users in over 40 countries.
Detailed design specifications are available by clicking here.
Please see the image. Also available by clicking here:
Simple assembly instructions on paper and video are provided with each order for the distributing organization to use. Each RoughRider chair comes with a 60-page User Manual which gives instructions on assembly, adjustment, and use. These instructions are for the wheelchair provider and for the wheelchair rider.
Whirlwind assists with capacity building for local professionals and paraprofessionals in order to establish and maintain a sustainable infrastructure for wheelchair services such as assessment, fitting, rider training, and repair.
Whirlwind is expanding its franchise program with the development of Wheelchair Provision and Assembly Centers (WPACs), which will serve as local hubs for continuous in-person service for the RoughRider and its users.
Although life cycle is not indicated, users have been know to have the chair over 20 years.
Works on rough terrain; easily repairable; composed of readily available components for simple repair around the world; adjustable to accommodate individual needs; maximum load 100kg; affordable in developing country contexts.
Whirlwind conducted tests found the RoughRider to pass the ISO Standard tests, including the minimum 200,000 cycles on the two-drum durability tests P10.4, and 6,666 cycle horizontal 50 mm (2 inch) drop test P10.5. Passing the static strength and impact tests is a good indicator of a chair’s ability to also pass the ISO Standard durability tests.
Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh tested
the RoughRider to ISO International Standards for Wheelchairs. Whirlwind headquarters is located on the San Francisco State University campus as part of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.
A wheelchair that is not properly fit to the needs of an individual user can result in discomfort or injury (such as scoliosis or pressure sores) due to insufficient support or improper cushioning. There is also a risk of tipping while using a wheelchair.
William Armstrong, Kim D. Reisinger, William K. Smith. Evaluation of CIR-Whirlwind Wheelchair and service provision in Afghanistan Disability and Rehabilitation, 2007, Vol. 29, No. 11-12 : Pages 935-948
ISO International Standards for Wheelchairs. Extended ISO standards- developed by Whirlwind as a more appropriate measure of the forces a wheelchair will be subjected to on rough terrain in developing countries.
Simplified Strength Testing of Manual Wheelchairs in Developing Countries– developed by Whirlwind from ANSI/RESNA standards to allow for tests to be performed using simple, readily available tools when elaborate and expensive testing equipment is not available.
Static, Impact, and Fatigue Strength (ISO International Standards for Wheelchairs)
Footrest Rolling Impact, Caster Wheel Rolling Impact, Caster Force Bending Strength, Wheelie Drop Off Inclined Curb, Rear Axle and Mount Bending Strength, Upward Force on Push Handles, Inward Force on seat and Seatback Tubes, Seat Back Tube Bending Strength, Downward Force on Armrests, Wheelie Drop Off Level Curb, Frame Twisting Strength (Simplified Strength Testing of Manual Wheelchairs developed by Whirlwind).
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