Uplifters

An affordable and ergonomic wheelchair for children with Cerebral Palsy in India.

Uplifters brought together three world renown schools: The California Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Technology and ArtCenter College of Design.

Team

Abhay Ca
Winnie Wang
Rahul Harnotia
Saurabh Singhal
Shirley Rodriguez

The Trip

For 12 days the class conducted infield ethnographic research to discover pain points in the Indian workforce. We visited a variety of locations, interviewed workers and participated in work related activities.

We observed field workers in their environment and even saw a calf being born.

We spoke to the ladies of SEWA who worked in different fields like cotton picking, Beedi wrapping and kite making.

We took traveled for 3 hours to observe salt pan workers and their families in the desert Little Rann of Kutch.

We took off our shoes and walked the salt fields with the workers.

We interviewed and interacted with nurses and patients in various locations.

We mixed cement and carried bricks to buils homes in the slums.

We tried on the heavy and loud pesticide back packs and sprayed the crops.

We sat down and tried to keep up with the young girls rolling incense.

Click here for photos of India

Cerebral Palsy Focus

We wanted to create as much impact as possible to those that needed it the most. We chose to focus on children with Cerebral Palsy due to our visit at the Polio Foundation.

During our visit we were able to see that a large number of patients were young children with Cerebral Palsy or CP.

We noticed a lack of support for kids with CP. Not only when seated, but whilst on the floor during therapy as well.

They only had two seats which were static, not comfortable and unsupportive for children with CP.

The seats could not fit different aged children and were not adequate for children with muscle impairment.

Even though they treated mostly children with Cerebral Palsy, they had no seats to support them.

What is Cerebral

Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination, and/or other disabilities caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

1 out of 300 babies are born with Cerebral Palsy.

Afflicting over 2.5 million people in India, Cerebral Palsy makes up 75% of the disable community.

When a child grows and cannot be carried they become immobile.

It is common for children to never have a specialized chair and be immobile their whole lives confined to beds.

Regular wheelchairs do not have the correct support necessary to hold a child with CP. These chairs could do more harm than good.

How can we give back mobility, freedom and pride to families affected by Cerebral Palsy?

The Uplifters Stroller
Affordable and Sustainable

Our stroller’s price range matches that of the wooden CP chairs allowing it to be attainble with the help of NGO’s.

5-7,000
Recycled
Old clothing as cushioning
Adjustable and Customizable

Our stroller has the ability to adjust to different sized children giving them the correct support where it is needed as they grow. It is also highly customizable and decorable an important aspect of Indian culture.

Adjust Size
X-Strap for support
Fabric and wooden decor
Social and Responsible

Our stroller is socially conscious. The design was heavily influeced by the Indian culture form of eating and socializing on the floor as a family. The stroller also aids the community by connecting families and offering work to local wood workers.

Lowers down
Easily fixed
Passes down to families
Fullsize Working Prototype

Although it may not look pretty, our prototype is fully functional. it lowers down and has adjustable supports.

Next steps

In order to complete this project the mechanism needs to be revisited and the aesthethics must be refined as well as full size testing with children with CP.