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Canadian Builds Arm Powered Wheelchair
"It's fast and it'll cross just about any terrain thanks to its bicycle wheels," says Dave Adamson, Canadian inventor of the new "Handicycle", an arm-powered wheelchair that uses standard bicycle parts to keep costs low and provide unequaled mobility.

Adamson, who is himself disabled, began working on the Handicycle 10 years ago and recently sold his first production models.

"The design of the wheelchair hasn't changed much in 100 years. They can be difficult to propel, they bog down in mud and sand, and they're hard to get over obstacles," says Adamson.

The Handicycle has three large bicycle wheels that'll easily cross soft ground and walk up low curbs, steps and other obstacles. The most unique feature, however, is the arm-power design that lets the operator propel the chair with bicycle type pedals connected by drive chains to the front wheel.

The pedals are used both to drive the Handicycle and to steer it. They can be adjusted up and down and back and forth to suit individual users. The Handicycle has 3 speeds and is equipped with brakes for control on corners and hills.

All components are standard bicycle parts available at bike shops for easy maintenance. The frame is made from one piece of continuous tubing. The seat is made from molded plastic and the platform from plywood. A carrying basket can be mounted under the seat.

The Handicycle is 27-in. wide and can turn around in a 7-ft. circumference. It sells for $1,400 Canadian (about $1,000 U.S.). "That's considerably cheaper than most other wheelchairs. We're selling it at cost in order to challenge other manufacturers to improve the design of equipment for the handicapped," says Adamson.

For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Adamson, Island Metal Craft Ltd., 540 William Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9A 3Y9 Canada (ph 604 389-1519).

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #6