Case

WheelDrive – plug and play E-mobility

By March 18, 2019 No Comments

Maintain and increase social mobility

Since its inception, Indes has remained active in the development of electric wheelchairs (Skwirrel) and electric consumer bicycles (Sparta, Accel). Thanks to this accumulated expertise, our Power Assist Technology, and market opportunities, Indes has developed a product portfolio which includes leading electric auxiliary drives that increase quality of life and mobility and help manual wheelchair users maintain a degree of independence.

“They simplified the development process and came up with good ideas, and we brought the product to market in a successful partnership.”

 

Tom Myklebust
Handicare

Question

Which electric auxiliary drives and functionalities help manual wheelchair uses maintain or increase their socical mobility?

Various user studies resulted in the following potential solutions:

  • Do-it-yourself, but with less power – provide power in accordance with the user’s ability
  • Increase and maintain action radius by enabling occasional full-power use
  • Retrofit an existing wheelchair that allows for refitting the manual wheels after use

Approach

Indes developed a test model and carried out a user study, from which it emerged that the product demonstrably meets an active market need. A business case was then drawn up and several patents applied for. Indes approached various internationally-renowned wheelchair manufacturers to discuss complementary partnerships.

 

This has resulted in a successful collaboration and market roll-out with Handicare Mobility (now part of Sunrise Medical), among others. During further development, all components were custom-developed with partners and brought into production. These components are the controls, the motor, the battery, and all mechanical parts. The parts are produced in accordance with Indes’ specifications, while maintaining quality standards. Final assembly takes place in-house in the Netherlands, so quality is guaranteed and the R&D team is readily available.

Result

  • Unique, patented technology in the WheelDrive, directly applicable to most marketable models of existing manual wheelchairs
  • Socially-proven technology that increases mobility, independence, and quality of life for a variety of wheelchair users
  • Successful market roll-out of WheelDrive applications through complementary partnerships
  • Scalable and cost-effective solution due to all components being developed under Indes’ direction and in-house production and final assembly
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