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Out of the Blue

Geared to Go

BYU engineers team with LDS Charities to develop a wheelchair that enables users to go long distances.

Imagine having to cover 5–10 kilometers of dirt roads to get to work or the market each day. Now imagine making that journey while pushing yourself in a wheelchair. Gears for Good, a team of six BYU engineering students, is determined to make such journeys easier. Teaming up with LDS Charities, which has provided around 700,000 wheelchairs globally to those in need, the BYU group developed an inexpensive and adjustable version of a hand-trike attachment to help people travel long distances more quickly and easily, powering their wheelchairs with only their hands. “Mobility is a huge part of everybody’s life,” says manufacturing-engineering student and group member Andrew T. Funk (’18). “We can help people to get where they need to go.”

A young woman using a hand-trike wheel chair attachment.
Engineering student Nicole Laws tests the hand-trike attachment created by her BYU capstone team. Photo by Nate Edwards.