October 11, 2017

The team developing the wheelchair escalator which provides basic mobility for disabled persons was featured on a radio segment, “Making the Grade,” on WJR, am 760 on October 9.

“I really enjoy helping people,” said Evan Jeffries, mechanical engineering junior.  “I’m able to do what I enjoy doing and help others.  I’m all for it.”

The project concept began as a senior design project in 2015 intended to help people with disabilities traverse stairs unassisted.

Since then, the goal was to create an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, safe and cost-effective product that can be easily reproduced using off-the-shelf components.

With a weight capacity of 600lbs, the Wheelchair Escalator can easily support the weight of a rider in both a manual or powered wheelchair.

Jeffries has plenty of assistance with the project including Dr. Molly McClelland, professor in the College of Health Professions and retired mechanical engineering, Ray Okonski.

University of Detroit Mercy has a long-standing partnership with the Veteran’s Administration Hospital of Detroit in creating assistive technology devices for disabled veterans.

This project has a patent pending status and the team is looking for commercial partners and will be on display at this week’s Research Symposium.

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