WHEELCHAIR INNOVATION APPLIED TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE
National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program, Government of Canada
Cheelcare is an innovative technological and manufacturing company focused on radically improving the quality of life and independence of people with physical disabilities through its suite of next generation assistive devices. We have developed innovations which focus on enabling disabled individuals to exceed their imposed limits by providing them with advanced mobility and connectivity solutions. Our three product lines include: robotic wheelchairs, power add-ons to manual wheelchairs, and power accessories (chargers and backup cameras/sensors). By leveraging our extensive expertise in design and manufacturing as well as in software and mechanical engineering, we were in an excellent position to respond to the government’s call to private companies to create innovative solutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To support our efforts and also attest to our capabilities, the Government of Canada recently awarded an NRC-IRAP* grant to Cheelcare.
Our most advanced mobility products utilize several systems including safety and collision avoidance systems which were developed by Cheelcare and which will be at the core of our COVID-19 product. We are proposing to build on these existing systems to provide an innovative solution for the disinfection of public spaces by developing an autonomous robotic mobility platform with an Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation emitter mounted to it. The UV-C irradiation destroys the virus’ RNA and leaves the environment COVID free. The platform will be modified to eliminate shaded areas and increase the efficiency of the system.
Combining UV-C techniques with a robotic mobility platform and a high-power source will provide a cost-effective solution for the rapid disinfection of public areas and may enable large scale protocols for prevention and containment of outbreaks. UV-C disinfection systems currently exist, but none are autonomous and robotic which greatly limits their adaptability and effectiveness. Advanced features make the solution developed by Cheelcare an exciting major innovation which will combine ahigh disinfection rate with high operational efficiency.
Cheelcare has identified numerous potential early adopters of the technology which is only a small sampling of the many public areas where the COVID virus could be present creating a vital need for this highly effective solution:
- hospitals and clinics,
- retirement residences,
- hotels and lobbies,
- places of worship,
- grocery stores,
- malls and food courts,
- cinema theatres,
- airports and public transit.
The primary disadvantages of existing disinfecting methods (predominantly chemical) are that they are labour-intensive, time-consuming and uneven. With few exceptions (e.g., hydrogen peroxide vapor), they require manual wiping of surfaces with a disinfectant. This operational inefficiency can be a significant hurdle to the implementation of large-scale disinfection programs and can make them economically nonviable. Moreover, manual labour can be prone to errors, e.g., some areas could be intentionally or unintentionally skipped during disinfection, some areas are difficult to access fully, etc. The Cheelcare platform eliminates these disadvantages with a highly effective, wide range solution.
Cheelcare CEO and Co-Founder Eugene Cherny is available for comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHEELCARE ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT AND EXPANSION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cheelcare is delighted to announce the addition of board director to support the Founders, Eugene Cherny and Dima Paltsev in their pursuit to transition Cheelcare from a Research & Development company, to a company with a focus on the commercialization of its innovative product lines. Further, Cheelcare welcomes investors who participated in the first round of investment and for the confidence they have placed in our technologies and our people. This welcome capital will fuel the delivery of products to users in Canada and US awaiting innovative solutions for their assisted mobility needs.
Roy has a wealth of leadership and management experience, which is critical to scaling our innovative product lines in our pursuit to delight our customers.
Roy's experience will play a key role in guiding and implementing our business plans to ensure revenue and growth are attained in a timely and efficient manner.
Roy is a seasoned corporate executive with over 30 years of McDonald’s experience in both field operations and Human Resources. Starting in the restaurant on the ground floor, he worked his way up the corporate ladder advancing steadily into senior HR and general management roles. Roy had oversight for Canadian and U.S. HR and was the lead person charged with developing overall HR practices and policies supporting McDonald’s business venture into Russia. As General Manager, Western Canada, Roy led an organization of regional, multi-disciplinary staff with responsibility for approximately 450 Restaurants. Roy is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and passionate pilot.
XCEED YOUR REACH AT OCE DISCOVERY
Cheelcare was featured in the finance section of Yahoo Canada while participating in the Accessibility Innovation Showcase at OCE Discovery. The reach of the chair to have conversations with users up to 6 feet tall was remarked upon in their video. The side to side tilt, the reclining backrest, and anterior as well as posterior tilt features of the chair are also shown here. Jen talks about how the self leveling feature of the chair is exceptionally helpful on sidewalks, which aren’t really flat. This typically strains powerchair users lower back with frequent impact and movement to one side based on the side of the road they are driving on. With the Xceed’s self-leveling function and improved suspension, the lower back of the user remains protected and stable when riding on uneven terrain.
THE UNVEILING OF THE CURIO
The pediatric version of our powered mobility device has been long awaited by many. At last, after many hours of hard work, the design is finalized. With the help of round the clock 3D printing technologies, our team has been able to manufacture many of the pieces for our very first prototype on site. Thanks to the speed of this technology, we were able to unveil the first prototype at the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapist’s workshop “Fun on Wheels: The Effects of Seating and Mobility Interventions on Early Movement, Play and Reflex Activity in the Pediatric Population”! To read more about this event, click here. The prototype is currently undergoing in-house testing before it is ready to enter production stages.
This device will be the first among its kind to offer such a diverse range of mobility to children and youth. With functions almost parallel to the Xceed, the Curio is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the world of pediatric mobility. Its playful and innovative design will lead the way and allow children and youth the autonomy to claim their own place in the world, increasing their confidence and sense of self-worth.
Come see us at our next event to experience our innovative devices firsthand, or contact us with any questions!
UPGRADES TO THE XCEED PREPRODUCTION PROTOTYPES
The production phase is quickly approaching! We wanted to make sure that the Xceed was everything that our clients needed it to be before we sent it to production, so we are constantly making improvements.
To ensure that there was the most power available, especially considering the climate in Canada, we decided to make an upgrade to brushless motors. This will allow our clients to have more torque in their motors to handle snow, mud, gravel, and uneven terrain. With high torque and high ground clearance, the Xceed will have the capacity to explore further outdoors without getting caught in roots or debris. With all angles of tilt available, this high velocity ride will provide the right angle and pressure relief for the user, all available to be adjusted by touch screen.
Cheelcare will start accepting pre-orders for the Cheelcare Xceed power wheelchair in the Summer of 2018. Stay tuned for more information!