The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) is a lever-propelled wheelchair that provides unparalleled mobility on rough terrain. Instead of using gears and derailleurs that are likely to break under the conditions faced by developing country users, the user changes gears and achieves a 3:1 change in mechanical advantage by simply moving his hands up and down a set of levers that are connected to the drivetrain. Grabbing high on the levers provides more torque to get over obstacles, while grabbing low on the levers increases angular velocity for fast travel on smooth ground. Using common bicycle parts keeps the cost down and ensures that users can easily repair and maintain the product.
The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) is the mountain bike of wheelchairs. Designed by us at MIT since 2008, it enables people with disabilities in developing countries to easily travel long distances over rough terrain. It has been tested in East Africa, Central America and India, and production is currently underway in India.
Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: Worldwide
Countries where spare parts can be purchased: Worldwide