full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Living with a physical disability isn't easy anywhere in the world, but if you live in a country like the United States, there's certain appurtenances available to you that do make life eeasir. So if you're in a building, you can take an elevator. If you're crossing the street, you have sidewalk cutouts. And if you have to travel some dtanscie farther than you can do under your own power, there's alibccsese vehicles, and if you can't afford one of those, there's accessible public transportation. But in the developing world, things are quite different. There's 40 million people who need a wheelchair but don't have one, and the majority of these people live in rrual areas, where the only connections to community, to emmlynepot, to education, are by traveling long distances on rough terrain often under their own power. And the devices usually available to these plepoe are not made for that context, break down qkuicly, and are hard to raiepr. I started looking at wheelchairs in developing countries in 2005, when I spent the summer assessing the sttae of technology in Tanzania, and I talked to wheelchair users, wheelchair manufacturers, disability groups, and what stood out to me is that there wasn't a device available that was designed for rural areas, that could go fast and efficiently on many types of terrain. So being a mechanical engineer, being at MIT and having lots of resources available to me, I thought I'd try to do something about it. Now when you're talking about trying to travel long distances on rough terrain, I immediately tuhghot of a mountain bike, and a mountain bike's good at doing this because it has a gear train, and you can shift to a low gear if you have to climb a hill or go through mud or sand and you get a lot of torque but a low speed. And if you want to go ftaesr, say on pavement, you can sfiht to a high gear, and you get less torque, but higher speeds. So the logical elvoution here is to just make a wheelchair with munaotin bike components, which many people have done. But these are two products available in the U.S. that would be difficult to transfer into depoevnilg countries because they're much, much too expensive. And the ceoxntt I'm talking about is where you need to have a product that is less than 200 dollars. And this ideal product would also be able to go about five kilometers a day so you could get to your job, get to school, and do it on many, many different types of terrain. But when you get home or want to go indoors at your work, it's got to be small enough and maneuverable enough to use inside. And furthermore, if you want it to last a long time out in rural areas, it has to be repairable using the local tools, materials and knowledge in those contexts. So the real crux of the problem here is, how do you make a system that's a simple device but gives you a lagre mechanical agtdanvae? How do you make a mountain bike for your arms that doesn't have the mountain bike cost and cpximlteoy? So as is the case with simple solutions, oftentimes the answer is right in front of your face, and for us it was levers. We use levers all the time, in tools, doorknobs, bycicle parts. And that moment of inspiration, that key invention moment, was when I was sitting in front of my design notebook and I started thinking about somebody grabbing a lever, and if they grab near the end of the lever, they can get an effectively long leevr and produce a lot of trouqe as they push back and forth, and effectively get a low gear. And as they slide their hand down the lever, they can push with a smaller effective lever length, but push through a bigger alnge every stroke, which makes a faster rotational speed, and gives you an effective high gear. So what's ectiinxg about this steysm is that it's really, really mechanically simple, and you could make it using technology that's been around for hdudnres of years. So seeing this in ptcacire, this is the Leveraged feoderm Chair that, after a few years of development, we're now going into ptiocdroun with, and this is a full-time wheelchair user — he's plareazyd — in Guatemala, and you see he's able to trsreave pretty rough tairren. Again, the key innovation of this toohlgency is that when he wants to go fast, he just grabs the levers near the pivots and goes through a big angle every stokre, and as the going gets tougher, he just slides his hands up the levers, creates more torque, and kind of bench-presses his way out of trouble through the rough terrain. Now the big, important point here is that the psoren is the complex machine in this system. It's the person that's sliding his hands up and down the levers, so the msciaenhm itself can be very simple and composed of bicycle parts you can get anywhere in the world. Because those bicycle parts are so ubiquitously available, they're super-cheap. They're made by the gazillions in China and iidna, and we can source them anywhere in the world, build the chair anywhere, and most ilprmotatny repair it, even out in a village with a local bicycle mechanic who has local tools, knowledge and prats available. Now, when you want to use the LFC indoors, all you have to do is pull the levers out of the drivetrain, stow them in the frame, and it converts into a normal wheelchair that you can use just like any other normal wheelchair, and we sized it like a normal wheelchair, so it's nrraow enough to fit through a standard doorway, it's low enough to fit under a tlabe, and it's small and mavenlubaree enough to fit in a bhooatrm and this is important so the user can get up close to a toilet, and be able to transfer off just like he could in a normal wheelchair. Now, there's three important points that I want to setsrs that I think really hit home in this pcjroet. The first is that this pdcourt works well because we were effectively able to combine rigorous engineering science and analysis with user-centered design focused on the social and uasge and eonoimcc factors ionmartpt to wheelchair users in the developing countries. So I'm an academic at MIT, and I'm a mechanical engineer, so I can do things like look at the type of terrain you want to travel on, and figure out how much rtncesaise it should impose, look at the parts we have available and mix and match them to figure out what sort of gear trains we can use, and then look at the poewr and force you can get out of your upper body to analyze how fast you should be able to go in this chair as you put your arms up and down the lveres. So as a wet-behind-the-ears student, excited, our team made a prototype, brought that prototype to tznniaaa, Kenya and Vietnam in 2008, and found it was terrible because we didn't get enough input from users. So because we tested it with wheelchair users, with wheelchair manufacturers, we got that feedback from them, not just articulating their problems, but articulating their solutions, and worked together to go back to the dnrwiag board and make a new design, which we brought back to East Africa in '09 that worked a lot better than a normal wheelchair on rough terrain, but it still didn't work well indoors because it was too big, it was hveay, it was hard to move around, so again with that user feedback, we went back to the drawing board, came up with a better design, 20 pounds legtihr, as narrow as a regular wheelchair, tested that in a field tairl in Guatemala, and that advanced the product to the point where we have now that it's going into production. Now also being engineering scientists, we were able to quantify the pfnmceorare benefits of the Leveraged Freedom Chair, so here are some shtos of our trial in Guatemala where we tested the LFC on village terrain, and tested people's biomechanical outputs, their oxygen consumption, how fast they go, how much power they're puinttg out, both in their ruglear wheelchairs and using the LFC, and we found that the LFC is about 80 percent faster going on these trraiens than a noarml wheelchair. It's also about 40 percent more efficient than a regular whehaclier, and because of the mechanical advantage you get from the levers, you can produce 50 percent hihger torque and really muscle your way through the really, really rough terrain. Now the second lesson that we lrenaed in this is that the constraints on this diesgn really push the innovation, because we had to hit such a low price point, because we had to make a device that could travel on many, many types of terrain but still be usable indoors, and be simple enough to repair, we ended up with a fundamentally new product, a new product that is an innovation in a space that really hasn't changed in a hundred years. And these are all merits that are not just good in the developing world. Why not in countries like the U.S. too? So we teamed up with coiutnunm, a local product design firm here in Boston to make the high-end version, the developed wrlod version, that we'll probably sell primarily in the U.S. and Europe, but to higher-income buyers. And the final point I want to make is that I think this project worked well because we egnegad all the stakeholders that buy into this project and are important to consider in brniingg the technology from ieciopntn of an idea through innovation, validation, commercialization and dissemination, and that ccyle has to start and end with end users. These are the people that define the requirements of the technology, and these are the people that have to give the thumbs-up at the end, and say, "Yeah, it actually works. It mtees our needs." So people like me in the aeimcadc space, we can do things like ianntvoe and analyze and test, ctaere data and make bench-level prototypes, but how do you get that bench-level prototype to commercialization? So we need gap-fillers like Continuum that can work on commercializing, and we started a whole NGO to bnrig our chair to mreakt — Global Research Innovation Technology — and then we also taeemd up with a big manufacturer in India, Pinnacle initrduess, that's tooled up now to make 500 chrias a month and will make the first batch of 200 next month, which will be dveliered in India. And then falinly, to get this out to the people in scale, we teamed up with the largest disability organization in the world, Jaipur Foot. Now what's prwofuel about this model is when you bring together all these stakeholders that represent each link in the chain from inception of an idea all the way to implementation in the field, that's where the magic happens. That's where you can take a guy like me, an academic, but analyze and test and create a new technology and qunevaittiatly determine how much better the performance is. You can cceonnt with stakeholders like the manufacturers and talk with them face-to-face and leverage their local knowledge of manufacturing practices and their clients and combine that knowledge with our engineering knowledge to create something greater than either of us could have done alone. And then you can also engage the end user in the design process, and not just ask him what he needs, but ask him how he tkhins it can be achieved. And this picture was taken in India in our last field trial, where we had a 90-percent adoption rate where people switched to using our lrgeevaed Freedom ciahr over their normal wheelchair, and this picture specifically is of Ashok, and Ashok had a spanil injury when he fell out of a tree, and he had been wiornkg at a tolair, but once he was injured he wasn't able to transport himself from his house over a kleteomir to his shop in his normal wheelchair. The road was too rough. But the day after he got an LFC, he hopped in it, rode that kilometer, opened up his shop and soon after landed a contract to make school uniforms and started making money, satretd providing for his family again. Ashok: You also euroeagncd me to work. I rested for a day at home. The next day I went to my shop. Now everything is back to normal. Amos Winter: And thank you very much for having me today. (asppulae)

Open Cloze

Living with a physical disability isn't easy anywhere in the world, but if you live in a country like the United States, there's certain appurtenances available to you that do make life ______. So if you're in a building, you can take an elevator. If you're crossing the street, you have sidewalk cutouts. And if you have to travel some ________ farther than you can do under your own power, there's __________ vehicles, and if you can't afford one of those, there's accessible public transportation. But in the developing world, things are quite different. There's 40 million people who need a wheelchair but don't have one, and the majority of these people live in _____ areas, where the only connections to community, to __________, to education, are by traveling long distances on rough terrain often under their own power. And the devices usually available to these ______ are not made for that context, break down _______, and are hard to ______. I started looking at wheelchairs in developing countries in 2005, when I spent the summer assessing the _____ of technology in Tanzania, and I talked to wheelchair users, wheelchair manufacturers, disability groups, and what stood out to me is that there wasn't a device available that was designed for rural areas, that could go fast and efficiently on many types of terrain. So being a mechanical engineer, being at MIT and having lots of resources available to me, I thought I'd try to do something about it. Now when you're talking about trying to travel long distances on rough terrain, I immediately _______ of a mountain bike, and a mountain bike's good at doing this because it has a gear train, and you can shift to a low gear if you have to climb a hill or go through mud or sand and you get a lot of torque but a low speed. And if you want to go ______, say on pavement, you can _____ to a high gear, and you get less torque, but higher speeds. So the logical _________ here is to just make a wheelchair with ________ bike components, which many people have done. But these are two products available in the U.S. that would be difficult to transfer into __________ countries because they're much, much too expensive. And the _______ I'm talking about is where you need to have a product that is less than 200 dollars. And this ideal product would also be able to go about five kilometers a day so you could get to your job, get to school, and do it on many, many different types of terrain. But when you get home or want to go indoors at your work, it's got to be small enough and maneuverable enough to use inside. And furthermore, if you want it to last a long time out in rural areas, it has to be repairable using the local tools, materials and knowledge in those contexts. So the real crux of the problem here is, how do you make a system that's a simple device but gives you a _____ mechanical _________? How do you make a mountain bike for your arms that doesn't have the mountain bike cost and __________? So as is the case with simple solutions, oftentimes the answer is right in front of your face, and for us it was levers. We use levers all the time, in tools, doorknobs, _______ parts. And that moment of inspiration, that key invention moment, was when I was sitting in front of my design notebook and I started thinking about somebody grabbing a lever, and if they grab near the end of the lever, they can get an effectively long _____ and produce a lot of ______ as they push back and forth, and effectively get a low gear. And as they slide their hand down the lever, they can push with a smaller effective lever length, but push through a bigger _____ every stroke, which makes a faster rotational speed, and gives you an effective high gear. So what's ________ about this ______ is that it's really, really mechanically simple, and you could make it using technology that's been around for ________ of years. So seeing this in ________, this is the Leveraged _______ Chair that, after a few years of development, we're now going into __________ with, and this is a full-time wheelchair user — he's _________ — in Guatemala, and you see he's able to ________ pretty rough _______. Again, the key innovation of this __________ is that when he wants to go fast, he just grabs the levers near the pivots and goes through a big angle every ______, and as the going gets tougher, he just slides his hands up the levers, creates more torque, and kind of bench-presses his way out of trouble through the rough terrain. Now the big, important point here is that the ______ is the complex machine in this system. It's the person that's sliding his hands up and down the levers, so the _________ itself can be very simple and composed of bicycle parts you can get anywhere in the world. Because those bicycle parts are so ubiquitously available, they're super-cheap. They're made by the gazillions in China and _____, and we can source them anywhere in the world, build the chair anywhere, and most ___________ repair it, even out in a village with a local bicycle mechanic who has local tools, knowledge and _____ available. Now, when you want to use the LFC indoors, all you have to do is pull the levers out of the drivetrain, stow them in the frame, and it converts into a normal wheelchair that you can use just like any other normal wheelchair, and we sized it like a normal wheelchair, so it's ______ enough to fit through a standard doorway, it's low enough to fit under a _____, and it's small and ____________ enough to fit in a ________ and this is important so the user can get up close to a toilet, and be able to transfer off just like he could in a normal wheelchair. Now, there's three important points that I want to ______ that I think really hit home in this _______. The first is that this _______ works well because we were effectively able to combine rigorous engineering science and analysis with user-centered design focused on the social and _____ and ________ factors _________ to wheelchair users in the developing countries. So I'm an academic at MIT, and I'm a mechanical engineer, so I can do things like look at the type of terrain you want to travel on, and figure out how much __________ it should impose, look at the parts we have available and mix and match them to figure out what sort of gear trains we can use, and then look at the _____ and force you can get out of your upper body to analyze how fast you should be able to go in this chair as you put your arms up and down the ______. So as a wet-behind-the-ears student, excited, our team made a prototype, brought that prototype to ________, Kenya and Vietnam in 2008, and found it was terrible because we didn't get enough input from users. So because we tested it with wheelchair users, with wheelchair manufacturers, we got that feedback from them, not just articulating their problems, but articulating their solutions, and worked together to go back to the _______ board and make a new design, which we brought back to East Africa in '09 that worked a lot better than a normal wheelchair on rough terrain, but it still didn't work well indoors because it was too big, it was _____, it was hard to move around, so again with that user feedback, we went back to the drawing board, came up with a better design, 20 pounds _______, as narrow as a regular wheelchair, tested that in a field _____ in Guatemala, and that advanced the product to the point where we have now that it's going into production. Now also being engineering scientists, we were able to quantify the ___________ benefits of the Leveraged Freedom Chair, so here are some _____ of our trial in Guatemala where we tested the LFC on village terrain, and tested people's biomechanical outputs, their oxygen consumption, how fast they go, how much power they're _______ out, both in their _______ wheelchairs and using the LFC, and we found that the LFC is about 80 percent faster going on these ________ than a ______ wheelchair. It's also about 40 percent more efficient than a regular __________, and because of the mechanical advantage you get from the levers, you can produce 50 percent ______ torque and really muscle your way through the really, really rough terrain. Now the second lesson that we _______ in this is that the constraints on this ______ really push the innovation, because we had to hit such a low price point, because we had to make a device that could travel on many, many types of terrain but still be usable indoors, and be simple enough to repair, we ended up with a fundamentally new product, a new product that is an innovation in a space that really hasn't changed in a hundred years. And these are all merits that are not just good in the developing world. Why not in countries like the U.S. too? So we teamed up with _________, a local product design firm here in Boston to make the high-end version, the developed _____ version, that we'll probably sell primarily in the U.S. and Europe, but to higher-income buyers. And the final point I want to make is that I think this project worked well because we _______ all the stakeholders that buy into this project and are important to consider in ________ the technology from _________ of an idea through innovation, validation, commercialization and dissemination, and that _____ has to start and end with end users. These are the people that define the requirements of the technology, and these are the people that have to give the thumbs-up at the end, and say, "Yeah, it actually works. It _____ our needs." So people like me in the ________ space, we can do things like ________ and analyze and test, ______ data and make bench-level prototypes, but how do you get that bench-level prototype to commercialization? So we need gap-fillers like Continuum that can work on commercializing, and we started a whole NGO to _____ our chair to ______ — Global Research Innovation Technology — and then we also ______ up with a big manufacturer in India, Pinnacle __________, that's tooled up now to make 500 ______ a month and will make the first batch of 200 next month, which will be _________ in India. And then _______, to get this out to the people in scale, we teamed up with the largest disability organization in the world, Jaipur Foot. Now what's ________ about this model is when you bring together all these stakeholders that represent each link in the chain from inception of an idea all the way to implementation in the field, that's where the magic happens. That's where you can take a guy like me, an academic, but analyze and test and create a new technology and ______________ determine how much better the performance is. You can _______ with stakeholders like the manufacturers and talk with them face-to-face and leverage their local knowledge of manufacturing practices and their clients and combine that knowledge with our engineering knowledge to create something greater than either of us could have done alone. And then you can also engage the end user in the design process, and not just ask him what he needs, but ask him how he ______ it can be achieved. And this picture was taken in India in our last field trial, where we had a 90-percent adoption rate where people switched to using our _________ Freedom _____ over their normal wheelchair, and this picture specifically is of Ashok, and Ashok had a ______ injury when he fell out of a tree, and he had been _______ at a ______, but once he was injured he wasn't able to transport himself from his house over a _________ to his shop in his normal wheelchair. The road was too rough. But the day after he got an LFC, he hopped in it, rode that kilometer, opened up his shop and soon after landed a contract to make school uniforms and started making money, _______ providing for his family again. Ashok: You also __________ me to work. I rested for a day at home. The next day I went to my shop. Now everything is back to normal. Amos Winter: And thank you very much for having me today. (________)

Solution

  1. inception
  2. terrains
  3. distance
  4. state
  5. developing
  6. trial
  7. heavy
  8. traverse
  9. meets
  10. tanzania
  11. complexity
  12. terrain
  13. kilometer
  14. applause
  15. lighter
  16. system
  17. thought
  18. performance
  19. accessible
  20. easier
  21. paralyzed
  22. employment
  23. tailor
  24. connect
  25. faster
  26. regular
  27. engaged
  28. bicycle
  29. continuum
  30. table
  31. repair
  32. torque
  33. person
  34. working
  35. market
  36. started
  37. bringing
  38. bathroom
  39. production
  40. project
  41. freedom
  42. innovate
  43. context
  44. angle
  45. spinal
  46. mechanism
  47. quickly
  48. technology
  49. quantitatively
  50. drawing
  51. levers
  52. usage
  53. learned
  54. narrow
  55. industries
  56. delivered
  57. maneuverable
  58. normal
  59. cycle
  60. important
  61. thinks
  62. evolution
  63. power
  64. large
  65. academic
  66. hundreds
  67. practice
  68. product
  69. putting
  70. importantly
  71. wheelchair
  72. encouraged
  73. higher
  74. parts
  75. people
  76. teamed
  77. world
  78. india
  79. shift
  80. economic
  81. powerful
  82. chairs
  83. shots
  84. stroke
  85. mountain
  86. finally
  87. advantage
  88. chair
  89. design
  90. resistance
  91. stress
  92. create
  93. exciting
  94. lever
  95. rural
  96. bring
  97. leveraged

Original Text

Living with a physical disability isn't easy anywhere in the world, but if you live in a country like the United States, there's certain appurtenances available to you that do make life easier. So if you're in a building, you can take an elevator. If you're crossing the street, you have sidewalk cutouts. And if you have to travel some distance farther than you can do under your own power, there's accessible vehicles, and if you can't afford one of those, there's accessible public transportation. But in the developing world, things are quite different. There's 40 million people who need a wheelchair but don't have one, and the majority of these people live in rural areas, where the only connections to community, to employment, to education, are by traveling long distances on rough terrain often under their own power. And the devices usually available to these people are not made for that context, break down quickly, and are hard to repair. I started looking at wheelchairs in developing countries in 2005, when I spent the summer assessing the state of technology in Tanzania, and I talked to wheelchair users, wheelchair manufacturers, disability groups, and what stood out to me is that there wasn't a device available that was designed for rural areas, that could go fast and efficiently on many types of terrain. So being a mechanical engineer, being at MIT and having lots of resources available to me, I thought I'd try to do something about it. Now when you're talking about trying to travel long distances on rough terrain, I immediately thought of a mountain bike, and a mountain bike's good at doing this because it has a gear train, and you can shift to a low gear if you have to climb a hill or go through mud or sand and you get a lot of torque but a low speed. And if you want to go faster, say on pavement, you can shift to a high gear, and you get less torque, but higher speeds. So the logical evolution here is to just make a wheelchair with mountain bike components, which many people have done. But these are two products available in the U.S. that would be difficult to transfer into developing countries because they're much, much too expensive. And the context I'm talking about is where you need to have a product that is less than 200 dollars. And this ideal product would also be able to go about five kilometers a day so you could get to your job, get to school, and do it on many, many different types of terrain. But when you get home or want to go indoors at your work, it's got to be small enough and maneuverable enough to use inside. And furthermore, if you want it to last a long time out in rural areas, it has to be repairable using the local tools, materials and knowledge in those contexts. So the real crux of the problem here is, how do you make a system that's a simple device but gives you a large mechanical advantage? How do you make a mountain bike for your arms that doesn't have the mountain bike cost and complexity? So as is the case with simple solutions, oftentimes the answer is right in front of your face, and for us it was levers. We use levers all the time, in tools, doorknobs, bicycle parts. And that moment of inspiration, that key invention moment, was when I was sitting in front of my design notebook and I started thinking about somebody grabbing a lever, and if they grab near the end of the lever, they can get an effectively long lever and produce a lot of torque as they push back and forth, and effectively get a low gear. And as they slide their hand down the lever, they can push with a smaller effective lever length, but push through a bigger angle every stroke, which makes a faster rotational speed, and gives you an effective high gear. So what's exciting about this system is that it's really, really mechanically simple, and you could make it using technology that's been around for hundreds of years. So seeing this in practice, this is the Leveraged Freedom Chair that, after a few years of development, we're now going into production with, and this is a full-time wheelchair user — he's paralyzed — in Guatemala, and you see he's able to traverse pretty rough terrain. Again, the key innovation of this technology is that when he wants to go fast, he just grabs the levers near the pivots and goes through a big angle every stroke, and as the going gets tougher, he just slides his hands up the levers, creates more torque, and kind of bench-presses his way out of trouble through the rough terrain. Now the big, important point here is that the person is the complex machine in this system. It's the person that's sliding his hands up and down the levers, so the mechanism itself can be very simple and composed of bicycle parts you can get anywhere in the world. Because those bicycle parts are so ubiquitously available, they're super-cheap. They're made by the gazillions in China and India, and we can source them anywhere in the world, build the chair anywhere, and most importantly repair it, even out in a village with a local bicycle mechanic who has local tools, knowledge and parts available. Now, when you want to use the LFC indoors, all you have to do is pull the levers out of the drivetrain, stow them in the frame, and it converts into a normal wheelchair that you can use just like any other normal wheelchair, and we sized it like a normal wheelchair, so it's narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway, it's low enough to fit under a table, and it's small and maneuverable enough to fit in a bathroom and this is important so the user can get up close to a toilet, and be able to transfer off just like he could in a normal wheelchair. Now, there's three important points that I want to stress that I think really hit home in this project. The first is that this product works well because we were effectively able to combine rigorous engineering science and analysis with user-centered design focused on the social and usage and economic factors important to wheelchair users in the developing countries. So I'm an academic at MIT, and I'm a mechanical engineer, so I can do things like look at the type of terrain you want to travel on, and figure out how much resistance it should impose, look at the parts we have available and mix and match them to figure out what sort of gear trains we can use, and then look at the power and force you can get out of your upper body to analyze how fast you should be able to go in this chair as you put your arms up and down the levers. So as a wet-behind-the-ears student, excited, our team made a prototype, brought that prototype to Tanzania, Kenya and Vietnam in 2008, and found it was terrible because we didn't get enough input from users. So because we tested it with wheelchair users, with wheelchair manufacturers, we got that feedback from them, not just articulating their problems, but articulating their solutions, and worked together to go back to the drawing board and make a new design, which we brought back to East Africa in '09 that worked a lot better than a normal wheelchair on rough terrain, but it still didn't work well indoors because it was too big, it was heavy, it was hard to move around, so again with that user feedback, we went back to the drawing board, came up with a better design, 20 pounds lighter, as narrow as a regular wheelchair, tested that in a field trial in Guatemala, and that advanced the product to the point where we have now that it's going into production. Now also being engineering scientists, we were able to quantify the performance benefits of the Leveraged Freedom Chair, so here are some shots of our trial in Guatemala where we tested the LFC on village terrain, and tested people's biomechanical outputs, their oxygen consumption, how fast they go, how much power they're putting out, both in their regular wheelchairs and using the LFC, and we found that the LFC is about 80 percent faster going on these terrains than a normal wheelchair. It's also about 40 percent more efficient than a regular wheelchair, and because of the mechanical advantage you get from the levers, you can produce 50 percent higher torque and really muscle your way through the really, really rough terrain. Now the second lesson that we learned in this is that the constraints on this design really push the innovation, because we had to hit such a low price point, because we had to make a device that could travel on many, many types of terrain but still be usable indoors, and be simple enough to repair, we ended up with a fundamentally new product, a new product that is an innovation in a space that really hasn't changed in a hundred years. And these are all merits that are not just good in the developing world. Why not in countries like the U.S. too? So we teamed up with Continuum, a local product design firm here in Boston to make the high-end version, the developed world version, that we'll probably sell primarily in the U.S. and Europe, but to higher-income buyers. And the final point I want to make is that I think this project worked well because we engaged all the stakeholders that buy into this project and are important to consider in bringing the technology from inception of an idea through innovation, validation, commercialization and dissemination, and that cycle has to start and end with end users. These are the people that define the requirements of the technology, and these are the people that have to give the thumbs-up at the end, and say, "Yeah, it actually works. It meets our needs." So people like me in the academic space, we can do things like innovate and analyze and test, create data and make bench-level prototypes, but how do you get that bench-level prototype to commercialization? So we need gap-fillers like Continuum that can work on commercializing, and we started a whole NGO to bring our chair to market — Global Research Innovation Technology — and then we also teamed up with a big manufacturer in India, Pinnacle Industries, that's tooled up now to make 500 chairs a month and will make the first batch of 200 next month, which will be delivered in India. And then finally, to get this out to the people in scale, we teamed up with the largest disability organization in the world, Jaipur Foot. Now what's powerful about this model is when you bring together all these stakeholders that represent each link in the chain from inception of an idea all the way to implementation in the field, that's where the magic happens. That's where you can take a guy like me, an academic, but analyze and test and create a new technology and quantitatively determine how much better the performance is. You can connect with stakeholders like the manufacturers and talk with them face-to-face and leverage their local knowledge of manufacturing practices and their clients and combine that knowledge with our engineering knowledge to create something greater than either of us could have done alone. And then you can also engage the end user in the design process, and not just ask him what he needs, but ask him how he thinks it can be achieved. And this picture was taken in India in our last field trial, where we had a 90-percent adoption rate where people switched to using our Leveraged Freedom Chair over their normal wheelchair, and this picture specifically is of Ashok, and Ashok had a spinal injury when he fell out of a tree, and he had been working at a tailor, but once he was injured he wasn't able to transport himself from his house over a kilometer to his shop in his normal wheelchair. The road was too rough. But the day after he got an LFC, he hopped in it, rode that kilometer, opened up his shop and soon after landed a contract to make school uniforms and started making money, started providing for his family again. Ashok: You also encouraged me to work. I rested for a day at home. The next day I went to my shop. Now everything is back to normal. Amos Winter: And thank you very much for having me today. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
normal wheelchair 5
rough terrain 4
developing countries 3
mountain bike 3
bicycle parts 3
leveraged freedom 3
long distances 2
freedom chair 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
leveraged freedom chair 2

Important Words

  1. academic
  2. accessible
  3. achieved
  4. adoption
  5. advanced
  6. advantage
  7. afford
  8. africa
  9. amos
  10. analysis
  11. analyze
  12. angle
  13. answer
  14. applause
  15. appurtenances
  16. areas
  17. arms
  18. articulating
  19. ashok
  20. assessing
  21. batch
  22. bathroom
  23. benefits
  24. bicycle
  25. big
  26. bigger
  27. bike
  28. biomechanical
  29. board
  30. body
  31. boston
  32. break
  33. bring
  34. bringing
  35. brought
  36. build
  37. building
  38. buy
  39. buyers
  40. case
  41. chain
  42. chair
  43. chairs
  44. changed
  45. china
  46. clients
  47. climb
  48. close
  49. combine
  50. commercialization
  51. commercializing
  52. community
  53. complex
  54. complexity
  55. components
  56. composed
  57. connect
  58. connections
  59. constraints
  60. consumption
  61. context
  62. contexts
  63. continuum
  64. contract
  65. converts
  66. cost
  67. countries
  68. country
  69. create
  70. creates
  71. crossing
  72. crux
  73. cutouts
  74. cycle
  75. data
  76. day
  77. define
  78. delivered
  79. design
  80. designed
  81. determine
  82. developed
  83. developing
  84. development
  85. device
  86. devices
  87. difficult
  88. disability
  89. dissemination
  90. distance
  91. distances
  92. dollars
  93. doorknobs
  94. doorway
  95. drawing
  96. drivetrain
  97. easier
  98. east
  99. easy
  100. economic
  101. education
  102. effective
  103. effectively
  104. efficient
  105. efficiently
  106. elevator
  107. employment
  108. encouraged
  109. ended
  110. engage
  111. engaged
  112. engineer
  113. engineering
  114. europe
  115. evolution
  116. excited
  117. exciting
  118. expensive
  119. face
  120. factors
  121. family
  122. fast
  123. faster
  124. feedback
  125. fell
  126. field
  127. figure
  128. final
  129. finally
  130. firm
  131. fit
  132. focused
  133. foot
  134. force
  135. frame
  136. freedom
  137. front
  138. fundamentally
  139. gazillions
  140. gear
  141. give
  142. global
  143. good
  144. grab
  145. grabbing
  146. grabs
  147. greater
  148. groups
  149. guatemala
  150. guy
  151. hand
  152. hands
  153. hard
  154. heavy
  155. high
  156. higher
  157. hill
  158. hit
  159. home
  160. hopped
  161. house
  162. hundreds
  163. idea
  164. ideal
  165. immediately
  166. implementation
  167. important
  168. importantly
  169. impose
  170. inception
  171. india
  172. indoors
  173. industries
  174. injured
  175. injury
  176. innovate
  177. innovation
  178. input
  179. inspiration
  180. invention
  181. jaipur
  182. job
  183. kenya
  184. key
  185. kilometer
  186. kilometers
  187. kind
  188. knowledge
  189. landed
  190. large
  191. largest
  192. learned
  193. length
  194. lesson
  195. lever
  196. leverage
  197. leveraged
  198. levers
  199. lfc
  200. life
  201. lighter
  202. link
  203. live
  204. living
  205. local
  206. logical
  207. long
  208. lot
  209. lots
  210. machine
  211. magic
  212. majority
  213. making
  214. maneuverable
  215. manufacturer
  216. manufacturers
  217. manufacturing
  218. market
  219. match
  220. materials
  221. mechanic
  222. mechanical
  223. mechanically
  224. mechanism
  225. meets
  226. merits
  227. million
  228. mit
  229. mix
  230. model
  231. moment
  232. money
  233. month
  234. mountain
  235. move
  236. mud
  237. muscle
  238. narrow
  239. ngo
  240. normal
  241. notebook
  242. oftentimes
  243. opened
  244. organization
  245. outputs
  246. oxygen
  247. paralyzed
  248. parts
  249. pavement
  250. people
  251. percent
  252. performance
  253. person
  254. physical
  255. picture
  256. pinnacle
  257. pivots
  258. point
  259. points
  260. pounds
  261. power
  262. powerful
  263. practice
  264. practices
  265. pretty
  266. price
  267. primarily
  268. problem
  269. problems
  270. process
  271. produce
  272. product
  273. production
  274. products
  275. project
  276. prototype
  277. prototypes
  278. providing
  279. public
  280. pull
  281. push
  282. put
  283. putting
  284. quantify
  285. quantitatively
  286. quickly
  287. rate
  288. real
  289. regular
  290. repair
  291. repairable
  292. represent
  293. requirements
  294. research
  295. resistance
  296. resources
  297. rested
  298. rigorous
  299. road
  300. rode
  301. rotational
  302. rough
  303. rural
  304. sand
  305. scale
  306. school
  307. science
  308. scientists
  309. sell
  310. shift
  311. shop
  312. shots
  313. sidewalk
  314. simple
  315. sitting
  316. sized
  317. slide
  318. slides
  319. sliding
  320. small
  321. smaller
  322. social
  323. solutions
  324. sort
  325. source
  326. space
  327. specifically
  328. speed
  329. speeds
  330. spent
  331. spinal
  332. stakeholders
  333. standard
  334. start
  335. started
  336. state
  337. states
  338. stood
  339. stow
  340. street
  341. stress
  342. stroke
  343. student
  344. summer
  345. switched
  346. system
  347. table
  348. tailor
  349. talk
  350. talked
  351. talking
  352. tanzania
  353. team
  354. teamed
  355. technology
  356. terrain
  357. terrains
  358. terrible
  359. test
  360. tested
  361. thinking
  362. thinks
  363. thought
  364. time
  365. today
  366. toilet
  367. tooled
  368. tools
  369. torque
  370. tougher
  371. train
  372. trains
  373. transfer
  374. transport
  375. transportation
  376. travel
  377. traveling
  378. traverse
  379. tree
  380. trial
  381. trouble
  382. type
  383. types
  384. ubiquitously
  385. uniforms
  386. united
  387. upper
  388. usable
  389. usage
  390. user
  391. users
  392. validation
  393. vehicles
  394. version
  395. vietnam
  396. village
  397. wheelchair
  398. wheelchairs
  399. work
  400. worked
  401. working
  402. works
  403. world
  404. years