The creation of an off-roading wheelchair makes it possible for disabled people to explore and navigate hiking trails in comfort.
An off-roading wheelchair has gained a lot of popularity in the third world after then-graduate student at MIT, Amos Winter, designed a three-wheeled chair constructed from bike parts.
Originally the chair, started as a project by Winter when he was a graduate student at MIT, was designed for disabled people located in rural areas. Built with a small front wheel and levers, it provided enough versatility for the rider to use the chair along rural roads and also throughout the house.
The Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) lab at MIT, which is where Winter now works as a professor, produces cost-effective systems for the developing world. It was here, after realizing the untapped potential market that could be reached, Winter and his team set up a company called Global Research Innovation and Technology, Cambridge, which designs and creates the chairs for the developing world for about $200 per chair.
Since creating the first chair, a second, more extensive model has been designed that costs about $3,000. The second model comes complete with a third front wheel to ride over obstacles, and levers that help the rider move forward. The second model is also lighter and foldable.