In this work we present the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), a wheelchair-based mobility aid designed specifically for the developing world. People with disabilities in developing countries have needs that differ drastically from those of people in the developed world; they most often do not have access to public transportation and are forced to travel long distances on rough terrain. Existing mobility aids, such Western-styled wheelchairs, are inefficient to propel and difficult to use off-road. Hand-powered tricycles, although more efficient for long distance travel, are too large to use in the home. The LFC is designed to fully suit the needs of people with disabilities in developing countries by utilizing upper body power through a lever-drive system. The drivetrain, which is made from locally available bicycle components, enables the user to select different gear ratios by sliding his or her hand up and down the levelers. The levers are sized to optimally convert upper body power when traveling on the variety of terrains encountered in the developing world.
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