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Case Studies

Disabled Car Project – Drive From Your Wheelchair

Getting in and out of a car, for a wheelchair-user can be difficult. While some manage fine, for some it's near impossible without help. People who lead otherwise fully independent lives shouldn't have to rely on another person to fold up their wheelchair for transport after getting into their car.

A team had the idea of designing a system to allow wheelchair users to enter a vehicle and drive from their wheelchair. Adrian, of Mikrospin, was invited to help design and prototype one of these specially adapted vehicles. A challenge he took on with relish.

VW Caddy & Fiat Qubo vehicles were adapted to automatically open the tailgate and drop a ramp for access.

The VW Caddy was also adapted to lower its suspension for easier access. It was achieved by using a complex hydraulic system including a Bosch Rexroth hydraulic power unit and bespoke hydraulic cylinders. The system was controlled by special circuitry and pressure transducers, which were needed to evaluate the pressures on and movement of the vehicles during access.

The result? Sensitive, safe and effective systems allowing wheelchair users to access their vehicle and drive from their wheelchair, granting them an extra independence.

Jump to our case study quick links to read more.
  • Robot Wars In the mid 1990's, the TV series Robot Wars saw many amateur mechanics pit their creations in battle against each other. Each robot had its own weapon - motorised saws, hydraulic axes or flippers - with which to fight. Many of them were liable to breakdowns and malfunctions which was, of course, all part of the fun.
  • Wind Turbines Throughout the UK With an increasing need for green and alternate energy sources in the UK, wind turbines have been popping up everywhere. Faced with a fair amount of criticism, engineers are determined to design and build effective wind turbines.
  • James Bond Cars You can't make a James Bond film without a 'suped-up' auto-mobile to blaze through a car-chase scene, so when making 2002's "Die Another Day" the production team assigned the job to a specialist design team.
  • Disabled Car Project – Drive From Your Wheelchair Getting in and out of a car, for a wheelchair-user can be difficult. While some manage fine, for some it's near impossible without help. People who lead otherwise fully independent lives shouldn't have to rely on another person to fold up their wheelchair for transport after getting into their car.
  • Railways Tamping Machine Railway maintenance can be very costly, and as a result train fares skyrocket. Hikes in fares are unpopular with passengers. Looking to cut costs and improve their maintenance efficiency, National Rail approached Mikrospin for help.
  • London Underground Tunnel In the early nineties, the authorities planned a new section of the Underground to extend the Jubilee Line to Heathrow Airport. With new advances in tunnelling machinery since the London Underground was first built, they were looking for cutting edge technologies to speed up the process.
  • Fighter Plane Testing British Aerospace in Brough, North Humberside test aircraft for their safety and suitability for flight. Simulating the same movements that would be experienced in flight is no easy job, with many pressures and strains on the craft while it's in the air.
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