lecture: Making Experts Makers and Makers Experts
Over the past year, we have been developing open source wheelchair add-ons through user research, ideation, design, prototyping and testing. We present the outcome and insights from the process.
The project started one year ago with a wheelchair hackathon at MakerFaire. Driven by ideas of the users, we intensively worked on three topics: transport and storage, driving in the snow and lighting. In particular, following criteria played a central role: feasibility, time spent on DIY production, costs, aesthetics and impact on wheelchair users.
From numerous ideas and prototypes, two products have gained resonance amongst users - OPEN LIGHTS, a wheelchair lighting feature and OPEN TRAILER, a wheelchair trailer.
The project is completely open source and can be reproduced by users themselves with DIY rapid prototyping technologies. The designs and files can be downloaded for free under Creative Commons License. It is important to us that the products can be easily and inexpensively replicated so that as many wheelchair users can benefit from them.