These students have designed an innovative luggage that attaches to wheelchairs: this is how it works

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A group of students from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) has designed a innovative luggage for wheelchairs. The project, which aims to provide people with disabilities with full independence when travelling, has been the winner of the national edition of the James Dyson Award, and is making steady progress.

Javier Herraiz, Carmen Núñez, Julia Viela. Pablo Jiménez and Claudia Fernández, the young students behind the project, inspired by family and friends who use wheelchairs, discovered that there were no alternative solutions that allowed them to carry their belongings without giving up their freedom, according to the award page.

HOOPS, innovative luggage

Designing HOOPS, as the innovative luggage is called, was not an easy task. The engineering students had a clear objective, but they needed to understand the problem well to study different solutions. So they contacted ANDIS (Spanish Association of the Disabled) and wheelchair users.

As the project progressed, fueled by a large number of feedback Among the collaborators, the students contemplated several alternatives. For example, the possibility of attaching a suitcase with wheels to the side of the wheelchair, but they found that it was difficult to carry, unstable and, importantly, easy to be stolen.

They also thought about attaching a suitcase that moved with the wheel, but that was a problem when transporting fragile products. They not only had to protect their belongings, but also not neglect important aspects such as stability and fluidity of movementthat is, that the luggage does not require additional effort to move the chair.

Wheelchair 2

Thus the current HOOPS design was born. The luggage is attached to the axis of the wheelchair by a system with a bearing. “The weight of the suitcase falls on the axis, so the moment of inertia of the wheel does not vary and the effort required to move the chair does not change when using it,” explain the students, who also took volume into account.

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As we can see in the images, the luggage consists of two suitcases, one located on each side of the wheelchair. This has been specifically thought to improve the stability of the chair with a symmetrical two-piece layout. But that’s not all, HOOPS also has a button that allows you to quickly undock your luggage.

Prize and upcoming challenges

The students of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), which, as mentioned above, has been the winner of the national edition of the James Dyson Award 2022, have received a economic contribution of 5,800 euros for the prize. Now they go to the international phase, whose winner will be announced on November 16.

The team explains that they will continue to work on this project. Together with ANDIS they will test their solution. In addition, the UPM will allow them to use its facilities to study circular materials and their recyclability, since they aim to use 100% recyclable materials. There is a long way to go, but the project, without a doubt, is very promising.

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A group of students from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) has designed a innovative luggage for wheelchairs. The project,…

A group of students from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) has designed a innovative luggage for wheelchairs. The project,…

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