EC.721 D-Lab: Mobility

Wheelchair Design in Developing Countries


D-Lab: Mobility

D-Lab: Mobility focuses on improving wheelchair technology in developing countries by applying sound engineering practices to create appropriate devices. Lectures focus on wheelchair usage, social stigmas, and manufacturing constraints. Includes lectures by third-world community partners, US wheelchair organizations, and MIT faculty. Multidisciplinary student teams conduct semester-long wheelchair projects relating to hardware design. Funded opportunities are available for travel to implement class projects at wheelchair workshops in the field.

Read Matt McCambridge talks about D-Lab: Mobility on the D-Lab Blog.

Read more about instrutor Matt McCambridge.


Course Information
Instructors: Matt McCambridge
Semester Offered: Fall (Offered since 2007)
Lecture Location: N51-337 (M), N51-350 (W)
Lecture Times: MW 3:30-5
Units (credit hours) 2-2-5
Class Size: 20 students
Grading: A/B/C/D/F
Course Student Projects
2011Economics of Wheelchair ProductionHow can we produce enough wheelchairs for everyone who needs one? A case study in Kenya
Hybrid WheelchairAn adjustable wheelchair that can double as an everyday and active chair through the use of a removable backrest and lightweight frame
Hybrid WheelchairAn adjustable wheelchair that can double as an everyday and active chair through the use of a removable backrest and lightweight frame
2010Leveraged Freedom ChairDesign improvements for the next generation of the Leveraged Freedom Chair
Post Office TrikeMobile post office run from a handcycle
PowertrikePower-assisted handcycle
2009Folding Tricycle AttachmentImproved tricycle wheelchair attachment for easier traveling over long distances
Power-assisted TricycleModified tricycle wheelchair with a power assist
Small Business AttachmentsWheelchair additions to support small business activities, and associated micro-finance support wheelchair-based micro-enterprises
Web Donation ToolWeb-based mechanism for fundraising for Worldwide Mobility
2008Folding 3-Wheeled WheelchairThree-wheeled wheelchair specially designed for easier traveling over rough terrain
Folding Tricycle AttachmentImproved tricycle wheelchair attachment for easier traveling over long distances
Mobile ImpactSupport and empowerment network for wheelchair recipients
Small Business AttachmentsWheelchair additions to support small business activities, and associated micro-finance support wheelchair-based micro-enterprises
Wheelchair Accessories for WomenDevice for female users to help carry objects in their wheelchairs
20072-Speed Tricycle Drive Train2-speed drive train for hand-powered tricycles
Folding 3-Wheeled WheelchairFolding system for 3-wheeled wheelchairs built in Africa
Improved Trike FrameLighter and stronger tricycle frame
Marketing StrategiesMethod to improve marketing strategies of small wheelchair workshops