P19011: Wheelchair Accessible Restroom

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase


During this phase, the team should collect information regarding the customer, the constraints involved in the project, create a well defined list of deliverables and goals for the project, and what resources the team has to complete those goals. This project scope will help give the team a clear set of expectations and requirements to meet throughout the duration of the project.

Actual Progress

This phase provided a good foundation for the team moving forward. Through interviewing the customer and discussing the past team's shortcomings and successes, the team now has a list of customer and engineering requirements to meet. There is also a better understanding of the target audience and target purpose of the device to be made. This will help the team in the design process to identify which components of the device are the most important for use by the customer. It is understood by the team that requirements may have to be altered to conform to any ADA standards, or if a requirement is determined in the future to be out of scope.

Project Summary

For wheelchair users, using public restroom facilities can be an extremely difficult and unpleasant experience. It can be even worse if they have little or no ability to use their lower body. They particularly struggle with the wheelchair to toilet transfer due to their limited mobility as well as the varying heights of the toilet seats. As a result of this, a trip to the restroom can take as long as an hour, leading them to avoid using public restrooms all together. Currently, there is a working model for this design but a lot of development is still needed with emphasis on the ergonomic design, aesthetics, and improved mechanics and material usage.

The goal of this project is to design a device that will act as additional hardware to either be incorporated into the restroom or travel with the customer to make this process a lot easier for them. The ideal system will streamline the transferring process for those who are wheelchair confined from their wheelchair to the toilet seat to make the experience much faster and more comfortable. This device must also follow the ADA requirements for plumbing elements and facilities.

Click here to view the project summary.

Use Cases

1. Client does not have sufficient upper body strength to transport from the wheelchair to the toilet, a modified stall and toilet set up aides ease of transport.

2. Client has sufficient upper body strength to aide in transition to toilet, however an adjustable toilet seat height is needed to aide them.

3. Client does not have sufficient upper body strength to transport themselves to and from the toilet, so a portable device is used that they can set up and take with them to any location to aide themselves.

4. Client has sufficient upper body strength however still uses a portable device to aide in transfer from wheelchair to toilet and back.

5. Client has limited mobility and strength, a family member or caretaker sets up portable aide device and assists in transfer of client to the toilet, with the portable device easing the burden put on the family member or caretaker.

6. Client has limited mobility and strength, a family member or caretaker assists client in using the modified toilet for transferal, with the modified set up easing the burden put on the family member or caretaker.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables



Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Link to the live document here

Interview Questions

Link to a full list of questions and accompanying interview notes can be found here

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Link to the live document here

Considering the purpose, the team should anticipate potential failure modes associated with construction and use of this document.


House of Quality

House of Quality

House of Quality

Link to the live document here

Design Review Materials

The Design Review presentation can be found here

Notes from the review can be found here

Plans for next phase

Here is an overview of the team's plan for the next phase:
Systems Design Phase

Systems Design Phase

Link to live project plan here

During the next phase of the project, the team will be focusing on concept design and selection. The team will use various tools such as a functional analysis, morph chart, and hybrid concept selection process.

Links to each team members' Three Week Plan:

Rachel Ackles

Rachel Berry

Nate Bracalente

Don Phan

Daniel Vetere

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