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Help me develop rehab equipment for the spinally injured

optimisticbikeroptimisticbiker Posts: 1,657
edited January 2016 in The cake stop
3 years ago I broke my neck in a cycling accident which left me paralysed and tetraplegic. But enough of the sob story, this post isn't about me. Every 8 hours someone in the UK suffers a spinal cord injury through some form of accident; on average that's 3 or 4 cyclists a month - they're the ones you rarely hear about on the news.

One of the biggest problems for people in wheelchairs, especially tetraplegics, is getting enough cardio-vascular exercise and maintaining good blood flow to, and muscle tone in, their legs. One very effective way to do this is an FES bike. FES stands for Functional Electrical Stimulation. Conductive pads placed on the legs allow electrical impulses to fire the leg muscles and, with help of some clever electronics, cycle a specially adapted exercise bike.

I'm fortunate to live near a major Spinal Injury Unit and use an FES bike in the gym twice a week. I'd like to do it every day but the demand is high; for many spinally injured people access to an FES bike is simply impossible. Ideally I'd have one at home, but at between £10k to £20K per bike, owning one for most spinally injured people is even less likely (very few spinal injuries are covered by big insurance pay-outs).

I believe that a basic FES bike manufactured and provided by a not-for-profit organisation can be done much more affordably. I am in the final stages of design for such a bike but in order to get investment to set this up I need to build a couple of prototypes to prove the design and demonstrate the feasibility.

So I'm appealing for help to fund and build these prototypes. I've set up a crowdfunding appeal but I'm also looking for practical help. For example, a workshop that can machine and assemble parts for me at low cost, and an organisation that can assist with assembling/testing the electronics.

If you got this far, thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any donations. If you can help in other ways please PM me.
Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:

Posts

  • bumping...
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • I don't have machining facilities but if you need a form of chasis cutting and welding I'd happily lend a hand.

    We're based in Rochdale and can use our haulier (or fitting van if it's in the vicinity) to get the finished parts down to you.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • Offer much appreciated, I'll PM you once I'm closer to that point in the process. What cutting/welding facilities do you have - going to be mostly 6061 ally or similar using stock sizes of tube/box section where possible and some sheet, bit of bending/forming but going to try a keep that to a minimum.
    I don't have machining facilities but if you need a form of chasis cutting and welding I'd happily lend a hand.

    We're based in Rochdale and can use our haulier (or fitting van if it's in the vicinity) to get the finished parts down to you.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • Ah, our machines are MIG for steel only.

    In house would have been fine as I can do that for nowt but subbing it out would cost, sorry as I would help if I could.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • OK, well thanks anyway, and still might need some steel in there..
    Ah, our machines are MIG for steel only.

    In house would have been fine as I can do that for nowt but subbing it out would cost, sorry as I would help if I could.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,337
    Hello Optimisticbiker - I remember you.

    Are you working on your own?
    Have you tried to apply for funding?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Hello Optimisticbiker - I remember you.

    Are you working on your own?
    Have you tried to apply for funding?

    I'm mainly working on my own, I do have some occasional help but looking to put a small team together eventually.

    Apply where for funding? I've had conversations with various organizations but without much success. Mostly they want to see a working prototype before committing to funding. and most charities won't fund 'one-man development' type work at this sort of value, they are more interested in community projects.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,337
    Hello Optimisticbiker - I remember you.

    Are you working on your own?
    Have you tried to apply for funding?

    I'm mainly working on my own, I do have some occasional help but looking to put a small team together eventually.

    Apply where for funding? I've had conversations with various organizations but without much success. Mostly they want to see a working prototype before committing to funding. and most charities won't fund 'one-man development' type work at this sort of value, they are more interested in community projects.

    That's where you need to try and formulate a committee with a written constitution. It's not that hard and I bet that there are plenty of vested interested parties. If you know, which i'm sure you do, nursing and medical staff that would be happy to sit on a committee for tea and biscuits 4 times a year and even friends, then you could form one with as little as 4 people.
    I have sent some emails out on your behalf.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Thank you, but emails to who? PM me please.
    Hello Optimisticbiker - I remember you.

    Are you working on your own?
    Have you tried to apply for funding?

    I'm mainly working on my own, I do have some occasional help but looking to put a small team together eventually.

    Apply where for funding? I've had conversations with various organizations but without much success. Mostly they want to see a working prototype before committing to funding. and most charities won't fund 'one-man development' type work at this sort of value, they are more interested in community projects.

    That's where you need to try and formulate a committee with a written constitution. It's not that hard and I bet that there are plenty of vested interested parties. If you know, which i'm sure you do, nursing and medical staff that would be happy to sit on a committee for tea and biscuits 4 times a year and even friends, then you could form one with as little as 4 people.
    I have sent some emails out on your behalf.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • Hope everyone had a good Xmas. Thanks for the donations so far, but some more would be helpful
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • Happy New Year to all and safe riding in 2016.

    Please consider a donation to help get this project off the ground and get some paralysed ex-cyclists pedalling again this year.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
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