July 17, 2019


Our Innovative and Life-Changing Solutions

Team Members:  Matthew Donaldson, Natalie Ebreo, Kefan Li, Dillon Massaro, Kyle Moore,

Adham Nabhan, Robert Poston, and, Benjamin Yates.

Faculty Advisor:  Robin Ott

QL+ Program Manager:  Barb Springer

The objective of this Challenge was to create a device to effectively clean our Challenger's wheelchair tires before he enters his home.  

QL+ Challenger, Adam Keys, is an Army Veteran and triple amputee (bilateral above the knee and below the left elbow).  Adam lives a very active lifestyle; most recently, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and participated in the Chicago Marathon.  He was recently named Military Times' Veteran of the Year for 2019.

Adam spends much of his time outdoors or in his garage, often tracking dirt and other debris into his home.  His current process for cleaning debris from his wheelchair tires involves manually washing with a hose; this is cumbersome and often ineffective.  This task is frustrating and time-consuming.

The Challenge is to design a device to accommodate both Adam’s manual and power wheelchairs. This device must be easy to use, fit within his garage, and require minimal maintenance.  The final design must not change the structure of the wheelchairs or the garage.  The most challenging aspects of the design are making the device moveable so that Adam can clean under the device; designing it so that guests to maneuver around the device; for the device to clean all wheels on both wheelchairs; and, to design within the space constraints of the garage.

A total of twenty-four concepts were generated by the team, however, some shared features with others.  A common device was a set of rails in which Adam could simply roll his wheelchairs through.  This kind of rail device was similar to the one that Adam had mentioned to the team in one of our first meetings with him.  Another recurring trend in our concepts was the use of a ramp to raise Adam into some sort of cleaning function.  Some designs also incorporated a treadmill type device that would have Adam and his wheelchair rolling on top of a treadmill type structure against a cleaning apparatus.  For cleaning methods, the most common solution was to incorporate some type of brush.

From the concepts generated, the team down-selected to their final design and began developing prototypes.  Along with prototyping, the team split into sub-teams to specialize in a specific area of the design. These sub-teams focused on the ramps, rollers, cleaning, and disposal for the final design.

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A group of students helps a man by building a walker