UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative partners with industry to improve handcycles for people with high-level spinal cord injury

The Quad Rider makes it easy to shift gears and brake, enabling people with poor grip-control to safely cycle.

hand cycleThe University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Lakeshore Foundation are partnering with InvoTek, Inc., to create a gear and braking device that helps people with disabilities who have limited or no use of their hands operate a handcycle safely.

InvoTek, a research and development company in Alma, Arkansas, has received a $175,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund the development of technology called a Quad Rider to enable people with high-level spinal cord injury the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits of handcycling.

“Lack of access to recreation equipment is one of the primary barriers to participating in health-enhancing fitness activities for people with spinal cord injury,” said James Rimmer, Ph.D., the director of the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative. “The Quad Rider can open up the possibility of promoting a wonderfully engaging form of physical activity for people with high-level tetraplegia and help lower their risk of heart disease and diabetes while improving their mental well-being.”

“The mechanism does not require strength to brake quickly, which is a big deal for someone who has limited control of his or her hands. Plus, riders can change gears by puffing air into a device through a straw attached to their helmets, allowing them to keep their hands in position to steer and brake.”

The Quad Rider makes it easy to shift gears and brake, enabling people with poor grip-control to safely cycle.

“The mechanism does not require strength to brake quickly, which is a big deal for someone who has limited control of his or her hands,” said InvoTek president Tom Jakobs. “Plus, riders can change gears by puffing air into a device through a straw attached to their helmets, allowing them to keep their hands in position to steer and brake.”

The Quad Rider will attach onto a standard handcycle. Phase II will focus on enhanced automation of the device for people unable to use a handcycle because of limitations with hand function/dexterity.

Innovation & Development

 
 
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