1st Place: Performing Arts Wheelchair
Mechanical Engineering senior students at Purdue University created intelligent and inspiring prototype products, out of which the most innovative ones received the Malott Innovation Awards. At the 1st Place was the Performing Arts Wheelchair, which was created by the Team All World’s Stage (Alexandra Ziolkowski, Peter Callahan, Dongwei Bai, Zihao Lin, Grant Goldate, Lohith Rao).
“The world of theater and performing arts is currently not very accessible for actors who require wheelchairs for mobility. A current limitation is the smaller range of motion these actors have for completing choreography, as well as the challenges of navigating cramped backstage areas. To address this, the Performing Arts Wheelchair features an innovative holonomic drive system, which utilizes omnidirectional wheels. This allows our end-user to move in any direction (forward, backward, diagonally, side-to-side), as well as a zero-degree turning radius. Additionally, because the wheelchair is designed specifically with performers in mind, it integrates additional features based on actors’ priorities, such as the ability to change the seat height via a scissor lift, a small footprint, and a bracket designed for attaching props to the back of the chair.”
Malott Innovation Awards showcase student prototypes: