P17007: Motor-Assisted Wheelchair 2.0

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

Working off the precedents set by Team 16007, a Motor Assisted Wheelchair (MAW) prototype has been developed to assist a manual wheelchair move more easily. The MAW is intended to be used in accord with a manual user to physically keep up with and maintain normal, casual conversations with someone walking by their side.

A manual wheelchair alone can leave someone out of breath if they're trying to move at pedestrian paces while talking at the same time. Additionally, inclines may introduce a hazard if the user is incapable of physically pushing their chair up the hill on their own and begin to roll backwards out of control.

A MAW would assist the user with both of these everyday tasks. Furthermore, the transition for someone between a manual wheelchair and an electric wheelchair can be both expensive and lead to unpleasant side effects. As a transitional device, it would delay the effects of upper-body muscle atrophy as well as provide a cost-effective alternative.

The prototype legacy of Team 16007 provides a base model to begin our work. Refined customer requirements and pioneered exploration of materials and engineering lay the foundation for where we need to begin: Cut the costs, cut the weight, and make the device more convenient and universal to deploy.

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

During this phase, our team planned to gather the necessary information required to gain a clear and concise understanding of both the customer wants and engineering goals to further improve a prototype that had been previously started by an earlier design group. We planned to reach this goal by:

During this phase, our team accomplished all of the tasks that we had hoped to complete. We now have a clear understanding of the customer requirements and are beginning to develop potential engineering options to meet each of them. After discussing the design with our customer, we have a list of prioritized requests to implement in our future designs. By understanding the most common use scenarios, we will have the ability to universalize our design to meet the needs of each potential use.

Use Cases

P17007 Use Cases

P17007 Use Cases

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

The expected end result of this project is to have a working prototype that utilizes the successful characteristics of the previous design team while improving upon areas that still need further changes. After speaking with our customer, some of these improvements include:

Customer Requirements

P17007 Customer Requirements

P17007 Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

P17007 Engineering Requirements

P17007 Engineering Requirements


Constraints involved in the development of the motor assisted wheelchair include:




Risk Analysis

Some risk factors related to our project include:

Technical Risks

Resource Risks

Safety Risks

Societal Risks

Design Review Materials

Customer Interview Notes

Full List of Customer Interview Notes

Plans for next phase

Team Vision for Next Phase:

Individual Plans for Next Phase: Individual plans for next phase

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