Go Back  

Underwater Wheelchair Put to Test Ahead of Paralympics 

Current Rating:

Join NowJoin Now
  #1  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:16 AM
güttsfükk's Avatar
güttsfükk
Offline:
Super *********
Poster Rank:34
Join Date: Nov 2008
 
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 16/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss22942
Underwater Wheelchair Put to Test Ahead of Paralympics

Quote:
Artist Sue Austin is preparing to show off a prototype self-propelled underwater wheelchair to the public.

Ms Austin, who has been a wheelchair user since 1996, developed the chair with help from dive experts and academics.

The model is powered by two dive propulsion vehicles and steered with a bespoke fin and foot-operated acrylic strip.

She is staging a performance with it in a swimming pool in Weymouth this week.

"Creating the Spectacle" forms part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations.

Ms Austin, from north Devon, says she first had the idea after learning to scuba dive in 2005.

"When we started talking to people about it, engineers were saying it wouldn't work, the wheelchair would go into a spin, it was not designed to go through water - but I was sure it would," she told the BBC.

It was built with funding from the Arts Council's Impact Scheme.

Keeping afloat

Finding a suitable dive propulsion vehicle to propel the chair was initially difficult because most propeller models were designed to be hand-held and Ms Austin lacked the strength to hold on to them.

Eventually she trialled a model that was designed for divers with disabilities - and then added two to the wheelchair.

Ms Austin bought an NHS wheelchair for the project and spent months with her team perfecting its buoyancy. She initially designed flotation aids, but in the end found that simple swimming floats worked better.

"If you just put a thruster under the chair all the thrust is below the centre of gravity so you rotate," she said. "It was certainly more more acrobatic than I anticipated."

Modified chair

She modified the heel plates so that they formed fins at the backs of her heels and re-drilled the rubber straps to attach her legs to the acrylic "wings" she needed to steer the vehicle.

The addition of the second thruster and fin meant that the wings were no longer practical but she kept them for aesthetic reasons.

The wheelchair also required a more robust seat to handle the pressure placed upon it during a performance.

"I would love to create a version with hand controls - but I need my arms to be free for the performance," said Ms Austin.

The wheelchair, which had patents pending and was as yet unnamed, was already in demand, she said.

"We've had PADI [Professional Association of Diving Instructors] course directors and very experienced divers saying they would pay to hire it," she said.

"The Oceanography department at the University of Plymouth, where I did a BA [bachelor of arts degree] in performing art, said it would make their courses accessible to students with disabilities."

There is one problem with the wheelchair however - the frame is beginning to rust. Ms Austin says that ideally the next model should be made of titanium.
source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19389396

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
_62509680_wheel.jpg  

Attached Images
 
 
Something went wrong, try refreshing the page...


Something went wrong, try refreshing the page...


Picture and Video Clip Stats.
File Type: mp4 Creating_the_Spectacle_Online_-_Part_1_-_Finding_Freedom.mp4(23.83 MB, 68 views)
File Type: mp4 Camel_Dive_Club_and_Freewheeling_together_for_Creating_the_Spectacle_ENGLISH.mp4(15.80 MB, 46 views)
__________________
Now I'm Nothing
(Scum o' the earth)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to güttsfükk For This Useful Post:
Faline
  #2  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:22 AM
kellyhound's Avatar
kellyhound
Offline:
✝Moderator from Hell✝
Poster Rank:9
e-mail
Join Date: Oct 2006
Contributions: 413
 
Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Quoted: 1755 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
13/20 20/20
Today Posts
11/11 ssss61174
Re: Underwater Wheelchair Put to Test Ahead of Paralympics

damn cool

<object width="850" height="478"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/IPh533ht5AU?version=3&amp;hl=nl_NL&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/IPh533ht5AU?version=3&amp;hl=nl_NL&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="850" height="478" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:18 AM
Faline's Avatar
Faline
Offline:
♥ Moderator ♥
Poster Rank:2
Gore Goddess
Join Date: Jun 2009
Contributions: 226
 
Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Quoted: 1894 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss93392
Re: Underwater Wheelchair Put to Test Ahead of Paralympics

So cool

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:35 AM
mpcronin's Avatar
mpcronin
Offline:
Captain
Poster Rank:224
meat & veggies
Join Date: Jan 2010
Contributions: 16
 
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss3913
Re: Underwater Wheelchair Put to Test Ahead of Paralympics

Very cool... awesome even.

__________________
I want my fucking siggy pic back!
Reply With Quote

Powered by vBulletin Copyright 2000-2010 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO