Interdisciplinary Approach of the Design Process for the Application of New Materials in Wheelchair Design
The appropriation of new technology requires the design and development of products that are accepted by the market. Developing such products is a complex task that usually requires the integration of knowledge from multiple disciplines. In the field of new materials, developments that can be applied to assistive technology are constantly made. This work studies the collaboration between users and professionals from industrial design, engineering, human factors, and disability for the design of an all-terrain wheelchair. This product incorporates the use of magnesium alloys, a material with an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and good damping properties. With a human-centered design approach, tools such as interviews, focus groups, prototyping, and testing were used in several stages of the process. It allowed achieving a design that takes advantage of the properties of the new material and, at the same time, meets the mobility, stability and comfort requirements of the users.
KeywordsUser-centered design Light alloys Product development Assistive technology Design practice
The authors are grateful to “Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS)” of the Colombian Government (Grant 1115745-58322), “Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo y la Innovación (CIDI)” from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana through UPB-Innova Rad: 747B-03/17-35, Universidad de Antioquia, SENA and Universidad de Medellín.
Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación en Colombia (COLCIENCIAS), grant 1115745-58322.
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