Powered folding ramp
The client required a means of transferring on an electric wheelchair between his lounge and dining room / kitchen that had a step of 200 mm. The problem was that a toilet door close to the step opened out into the area required by a ramp or vertical lift. No commercial lift would have fitted in the space available.
The client, who had a leg amputated, used to have two manual wheelchairs, one on each level, and was having increasing problems while was waiting for delivery of an electric wheelchair. The toilet door near the step would have been difficult to alter.
A wooden ramp was designed to fold in the middle and to provide a step when folded, leaving room for the door to open.
Folding is done by an electric motor that lifts or lowers the bottom half of the ramp which when raised rests on the top half. Control is by two toggle switches positioned to be accessible to ambulant persons and wheelchair users.
The folding was accomplished using a 12 volt wiper motor with added epicyclic reduction gearing from a cycle 3 speed and a chain drive also from a cycle. A locking dog on the epicyclic ring gear could be released to provide emergency manual operation.
All the electrical circuits use 12 volts and a battery which is trickle charged by a plugtop charger is fitted to provide constant power.
When the ramp was fitted it was then possible to use the electric wheelchair on both levels and by operating the folding switch the client could access the toilet.
The client was very appreciative of the work done and sent the panel a generous donation.