CareChair

Transforming Patient's Lives

 

The CareChair is the world's first standalone system that can function both as a bed and a wheelchair. It eliminates the need for caregiver assistance and saves valuable time and space by transforming into a bed automatically.

  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Reduced burden on nurses and caregivers
  • Increased independence for the user


Independence Made Easy

Electric

Designed for quiet, efficient, clean operation

Mobility

The CareChair is extremely mobile due to its powered drivetrain

Intuitive

Using the CareChair is easy, just plug in your phone!

Comfort

The CareChair is designed for comfort, in both bed and wheelchair form

But wait! There's more

Features Galore

Pressure MapThe CareChair provides users and caregivers with a real-time visualization of pressure points on the body to prevent bedsores
FlexibilityThe CareChair provides practical benefits in a variety of environments, from hospitals to homes and can be powered from any mains supply worldwide
StabilityThe CareChair is extremely stable in both chair and bed form, or anything in between
DurabilityThe CareChair is constructed using high quality materials with a high degree of precision giving it a long lifetime
Operational ChargingThe CareChair is designed to work off of its battery or plugged into a wall outlet, and it charges the battery when it's plugged in as well!
RangeThe CareChair is equipped with all-day lasting rechargable batteries which can power the drivetrain and the position control for a sustained period of use
CapacityThe CareChair is designed to comfortably support a user weight of up to 250 lbs
UpdatesThe software and firmware of the CareChair can be updated remotely and seamlessly via the CareChair app
ConnectivityThe connection with the user's smart device provides a wide variety of connectivity opportunities for the Carechair

Background

When someone with reduced mobility needs to be moved, they are forced to rely on nurses or caregivers for assistance. During a typical shift, nurses and caregivers move 5 to 10 patients between a wheelchair and a bed. As a result of this, they account for more than 60% of all work related musculoskeletal disorders. Currently, to help move patients, hospitals and nursing homes purchase cranes to assist with moving patients. In addition to requiring caregivers to be present at all times, these cranes are uncomfortable and present a risk of injury to the patient.

Solution

In order to address this problem, the CareChair was designed as a standalone system that could function both as a wheelchair and a bed as shown in figure on the right. It would eliminates the need for caregiver assistance and save valuable time by transforming automatically.This would reduce the risk of injury for the patient and most importantly increases the independence of the individual. The goal of the initial prototype was to be stable as a standalone system, be as wide as possible and function independent of any mechanical effort.

Design

The CareChair was designed to be 8 inches wider than a regular wheelchair and be 6ft long when fully reclined to maximize the comfort of the individual. A unique ‘sliding base’ mechanism was implemented for the back in order to provide complete stability in bed form. To remain mobile as a wheelchair, the actuators used for the transformation were powered via a rechargeable battery mounted on the device which itself was maintained to be narrow enough to fit through a standard door. The entire system was designed to be controlled by a mobile application that provided control of the recline angle of their bed or chair. In order to preemptively identify areas of potential bed sores, the cushions would be embedded with a pressure sensor grid that would display areas of sustained long-term pressure to the user through the mobile application.

Implementation

Due to the time spent refining our design, we were able to successfully implement with a fully functional prototype with minimal design changes. The wheels were used from an existing wheelchair, while all other mechanical components were sourced independently. To ensure the safety of the user at all times, a number of safety switches and fuses were installed in the electrical system. Custom pressure sensors were built using ‘pressure tape’ and placed along a grid in the cushion and then covered with soft fabric to ensure the comfort of the user.

Results

The CareChair prototype successfully met all design goals and requirements and was fully functional. It achieved a transformation time of 30 seconds and survived a 5 hour rigorous testing with over 30 transformations on a single charge. Subjects ranged from 120 - 250lbs with the CareChair successfully transforming each time. In addition, many subjects indicated a high degree of comfort while within the CareChair and appreciated the granular control they had over the reclining level of the back and leg supports.

Conclusion and Recommendations

While the the prototype was met with a lot of positive feedback, significant input regarding future improvements was also received. The foremost recommendation was to have the CareChair rise to ‘bed height’ when fully reclined and expand laterally to allow patients to be turned over when attempting to rest. The next step would be to place this initial prototype in a care facility where individuals can voluntarily try out the product and provide critical feedback on what features work well and what can be further improved. This would be then used to develop a finished product that could eventually be placed in hospitals and long term care facilities.


Download the CareChair Hub For Android

to personalize your CareChair experience


The Team


Sanjith Chandran

Sanjith is a 4B Mechatronics Engineer at the University of Waterloo who is aspiring to specialize in Surgical Robotics. He has a strong background in Mechanical design for Robotics and Automation systems. He has a passion for Product Design which is reflected by a combined three years of work experience in fields such as Surgical Tool design, Autonomous Mobile Robotics and Manufacturing Engineering. At CareChair, he is the Mechanical Lead who is responsible for all design reviews and implementations as well as the machining and assembly of the product.


Ali Amin

Through his internships, Ali has developed a strong inter-disciplinary skillset in engineering. He has interned at Facebook’s power team working on hardware testing, worked on the development of sensor algorithms at BlackBerry and spent his final internship as a Dfx Engineering intern at Apple leading a team of mechancial and electrical engineers in China. At CareChair, he works alongside Sanjith as a mechanical design engineer, conducting design iterations and sourcing components. In addition, he handles all areas of business development including sponsorships, funding and competing at startup pitch competitions.


Surya Lakshmivarahan

Surya is a 4B Mechatronics Engineer from University of Waterloo, who is passionate about robotics, embedded systems and hardware design. His past coops have been at companies such as Rogers, Nytric, Evertz and lastly at Nest, where he did tasks ranging from app development, to mechanical design, to hardware and embedded software design. At CareChair, he is the Electrical Lead. He works alongside Oasis to design the circuitry, the schematics, hardware prototyping and firmware design.


Oasis Vali

Oasis is a 4B Mechatronics Engineer at the University of Waterloo. His interests lie in cross-platform software development, electrical system design and software architecture. He has experience across a wide variety of industries from high-precision machining to SSD firmware and web services development. He brings his proven software and electrical engineering skills to the table at CareChair and works with Surya on the CareChair’s Software, Firmware and Electrical subsystems.


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