Brilliant ideas do not need to be extravagant; Maddak, largest maker of aids for daily living in America, is about to spin the whole idea behind wheelchairs introducing foldable wheels.
Using a solid tyre, the Maddak Foldable Wheel will fit all wheelchairs that accommodate a wheel with a quick release axle. With a total weight of the wheel, hand rim and tire of approximately 2 kilograms, the foldable wheel rated load capacity will be 136 kilograms (300 lbs).
This invention may revolutionize the way airlines transport wheelchairs. Thanks to the foldable wheels, once folded the product becomes so compact that disabled passengers might even be allowed to keep their wheelchair inside the aircraft cabin instead of in the cargo hold.
Even when stowed in the plane's cargo hold, the foldable wheelchair will be easier to retrieve, thus shortening delays at the aircraft gate.
Originally conceptualized by Duncan Fitzsimmons, a graduate of the Royal College of Arts in London, England, Maddak licensed the worldwide manufacturing and distribution rights to the patent pending foldable wheel in February of 2011.
"We are still in the design stage and concerns, and suggestions brought up during the focus groups are being addressed so that when we launch the wheel in September of 2013 it is as user friendly as possible," says Kathleen Hanek, Director of Maddak Product Development.