A $1.5-million grant will enable IntelliWheels, Inc. to advance development of ultra-lightweight, multi-geared wheels for manual wheelchairs. This new innovation will further wheelchair functionality, allowing manual wheelchair users to be more physically active and increase their independence, health and well-being.
IntelliWheels received the Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
“By using simple gearing we can create a more dynamic method of mobility, providing wheelchair users greater ability to interact in their environment,” said Marissa Siero, Co-Founder of IntelliWheels, Inc.
The IntelliWheels i series will give wheelchair users the option to shift into high and low gears, providing the ability to independently maneuver hills, uneven surfaces and longer distances.
IntelliWheels, Inc. will be working in collaboration with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and TiLite, a leading manufacturer of ultralight wheelchairs to conduct research on geared technology for wheelchair users as well as product development.
"Funding like this from the NIH is an incredible tool to help designers, engineers, and inventors create the very best technology and design that every wheelchair user deserves. It has an additional benefit that it supports US manufacturing and small businesses," said Scott Daigle, M.S., PI and President, Co-Founder of IntelliWheels, Inc.