P15007: Anti-Rollback Wheelchair


Project Summary Project Information

Users of manual wheelchairs naturally encounter problems every time they traverse inclines and declines. First, when traversing uphill, wheelchairs tend to roll backwards impeding forward motion. Second, when declining, users do not have the ability to steer or slow their speed without endangering their hands.

There is currently a prototype, developed between 2013 and 2014, to solve these two problems. It is based on a ratchet and pawl system that is installed onto manual wheelchairs to prevent rollback with an accompanying braking system. However, this design is not easily adaptable to the variety of manual wheelchairs in today’s market. As a result, it cannot be mass produced at a low cost.

The goal of this project is to (1) refine the existing design based on user testing, (2) ensure that the design can be installed on a wider variety of manual wheelchairs without custom manufacturing, and (3) develop a large-scale production plan for the mechanism. Overall, the resulting design should retain the ratchet and pawl concept of the current prototype, cost no more than $200 in lots of 1000, as well as, weigh below 5 lbs.

As of the completion of the beta design phase, Team P15007 created a greatly improved anti-rollback system for adaptation to standard manual wheelchairs. The system is light, easily installed, and safe for use by the client. Within the Table of Contents below you can find information regarding our process and design work. Of particular interest is our MSD II section, which contains all of the final deliverables and design specifications.

Final Prototype

Final Prototype

Quick Links
Detailed Project Description
All Project Documents
Project Name
Low-cost, Retrofittable Anti-Rollback Device for Manual Wheelchair
Project Number
Project Family
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik, echeee@rit.edu
Primary Customers
Jack Cholette, Ph.D.
Elizabeth DeBartolo
Sponsor (financial support)

Team Members

Jessica Jeffrey, Jacob McCarthy, Warren Roser, John Sweet

Jessica Jeffrey, Jacob McCarthy, Warren Roser, John Sweet

Member Role Contact
Jessica Jeffrey Project Manager/Industrial Engineer jpj8014@rit.edu
Jacob McCarthy Mechanical Engineer jrm7624@rit.edu
Warren Roser Mechanical Engineer war3293@rit.edu
John Sweet Mechanical Engineer jas6202@rit.edu


Thank you to all of our supporters who have assisted us on our journey:
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Monroe Wheelchair

Monroe Wheelchair

CP Rochester

CP Rochester

Table of Contents

Introduction Phase I Phase II Phase III - V

Team Values and Norms

Meeting Minutes

Photo Gallery

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Week 9 Project Plan

Week 12 Project Plan

MSD I Gate Review


MSD II Project Plan

MSD Final Deliverables