Amos Winter, an MIT engineer has come up with an inexpensive levered wheelchair drive for developing countries, which he calls the Leveraged Freedom Chair:
His inevention was recently featured on Discovery News. I always love any kind of development work that will bring technology to disabled people in developing nations. From what I understand it will be quite inexpensive. But a levered wheelchair drive is not a new idea. It seems essentially like an inexpensive version of other levered wheelchair drives, for example:
And there are others. I do hope that Winter is successful at bringing a low cost levered wheelchair drive system to developing countries. The Wijit, for example, costs $4,799 and The Pivot costs $3,999. Obviously such systoms are not going to be too popular in developing countries. However, another possibility might be to work together with a current manufacturer of levered wheelchair drives and see if they can combine their forces to bring an inexpensive version of these expensive drives to wheelchair users around the world. There are disabled people in developed countries who would appreciate access to levered drive technology, but can not come up with $4,000.