Powered Mobility walker

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional

Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:47 am

I have been asked for help to build all terrain 3 wheel mobility walkers that would be self propelled via throttle or speed selector switch. It would be relatively light weight (target is under 60 pounds with a rest seat) and only needs to move itself. Current prototype calls for three 16 -20 inch wheels. Concept person wants to use a hub motor if it can be controlled effectively at walking speed 1-3 MPH / under 5KM /hr. Something like a small hub motor would be a simple clean install. Friction drive is also a option if a small hub can not be controlled in this speed range easily. Power/ current requirements would be minimal so overheating should not be at issue. Standard power tool type / size battery packs may be suitable as range requirements will also be minimal. Any ideas welcome for motor/ controller / battery setups.

Edit: Looks like hover board type wheel motors may be the ticket. Anyone in the group have experience adapting standard e-bike controllers and mods to throttles to safely control smooth low speed operation on a hover board motor?
Last edited by speedmd on Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:19 pm

I'd say your on the right track with the hoverboard wheels if its a stroller you got to watch that it doesn't feel like its dragging you along but a easily paused for in between foot steps
I think you should use a pedal sensor rather than a throttle if used in the right way it could give a little gentle electrical assistant as the stroller is pushed forward for 2/3rd the stroke of a wheel say so it would always need a push to get it going past the last 1/3rd perfect for what you want.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:37 pm

Thanks for the input Ianhill. Pedal sensor on the wheel makes great sense. Only problem I see is if it starts rolling down hill on its own. Hand placement safety switches would cure that and may be a must along with possibly a hand brake/kill switch.

Hover board motors I see look to be standard setup with three phase wires and hall sensor wires. Cheap enough to experiment a bit with one.
Last edited by speedmd on Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:00 pm

Definitely needs a deadman switch, I don't think it would need much capacity could slot a 18650 pack in one of the legs I think your on to something by here.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:36 am

Got the walker built. It was good to get the old tanks filled and do some tube brazing once again. It's got me thinking again. :lol: Will post some photos once we have the accessories tidied up and the customer gives approval.

Used a self balancing scooter motor and conventional thumb throttle and ran the 36v motor on a 24v controller and 8s hobby 4.2 lifepo4 battery pack. Speed and movement just about perfect. Customer wants to simplify the charging so a BMS battery - system needs to be sourced for future builds. Anyone have some ideas what may be best for the average older not tech savy consumer.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:53 am

I would stick with SLA for simplicity and safety
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:38 pm

Ianhill wrote:I would stick with SLA for simplicity and safety


Looks like we are going Lifepo4. Just need to work out a pack -charging options.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:34 pm

Most seniors will use a walker for shopping in tescos/Walmart or maybe a short distance in a city, in these areas law enforcement is high and they are itching to fine every man woman and child the law see, if I took my faggio there for example if i blast around at 40mph in Currys looking at the televisions then wheelie up the road to McDonald's for a drive through there would be helicopters and stinger traps all over me arms twisted up and buckle me to the ground with 6 points and a hefty fine upto £1000
In that case there's strict codes these devices must stick to in these areas a scooter with a seat just doesn't cut it for the law the mobility walker idea is a great idea as its classed as a disability walking aid and no court of law can say its an electric vehicle and must use the road, I don't think Granny's with they EV walkers up the middle of busy road will catch on. But on the pavements upto 4mph then its totally legal even in shops etc so I can see that been a great aid and needed rest platform.
Last edited by Ianhill on Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Flexscoot » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:21 am

I want to apologize to you as my last post (now erased) about our senior/disabled scooter has been considered as spam...

my post probably lacked about details and explanations as it was a bit late here in Europe when I posted it .... but we are truly working on innovative scooter for senior/disabled for more than 4 years now....and I am passionate about it.

So, as one of our model is used as an electric walker by people with arthritis or amputated persons, I felt entitled to inform you about it...sorry if I was unclear.

I hope that you will give some credit to the sincerity of my work...
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:39 pm

Flexscoot wrote:I want to apologize to you as my last post (now erased) about our senior/disabled scooter has been considered as spam...

my post probably lacked about details and explanations as it was a bit late here in Europe when I posted it .... but we are truly working on innovative scooter for senior/disabled for more than 4 years now....and I am passionate about it.

So, as one of our model is used as an electric walker by people with arthritis or amputated persons, I felt entitled to inform you about it...sorry if I was unclear.

I hope that you will give some credit to the sincerity of my work...


I did see the post sorry if I seemed obrupt.
I would love to see you accomplish your goal with both devices there's a great need for it the norm disability chariots are extremely heavy and combersome and lack any device/emergency stop to impact with pedestrians or shop shelfing I did see in a pound shop one old girl knock a rack over and revving away at it be nice if this could be stopped.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Flexscoot » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:51 pm

Yes, I agree that existing mobility scooters are more of a problem than a solution.

However, I don't know how strongly you expressed your feelings but it caused all my posts since 4 years to be erased from forum... quite tough for a too short post
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:02 pm

Can't be my fault surely I not complained or nothing ????
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:18 pm

I had noting to do with deleted post, I can assure. Not offended with the ad. I am building a walk behind, not a rider. Riders are significantly different.

Not finding a simple way to easily balance charge 8s lifepo4 packs. Looks like I may need to go with a BMS setup to help simplify things.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:45 pm

BMS will be a must I would say the other option of an rc charger would introduce options old people dont like them ideally, imo id say it needs a weather proof connector for DC from a compatable wall convertor a simple illuminated on/off switch and charge indicator lights and the controls with a dead man switch on the handle bar grip that has to be ingaged to walk with the Aid.
How will the speed be set so it doesn't drag people around, maybe stepper motors might be best to drive this application they can hold steady under power so you can lean on it with out pressing the brake and it won't move you would just need a on off throttle on one grip and dead mans switch on the other with a simple variable pot speed tortoise to cheetah , i think it would be possible to really slim the electronics down to fit in the tubes and batterys so it looks like a bare zimmer frame with two small rubber wheels at the front and castors at the back make it foldable for the boot and light alloy so its very light and adjustable in height like a crutch, sounds like a design brief.
Last edited by Ianhill on Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Flexscoot » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:38 am

I am looking forward for the picture of your walker...it will be easier to advice about battery or motor design

Sorry to pollute your threads... I just wanted to apologize in case of misunderstanding... and understand the reasons of my ban from the forum
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:33 pm

Customer I built the prototype for has placed ads for it so safe to show one of my early photos of the near complete working test unit.
Image

This was a quick and dirty (conduit and old junker bikes) test unit to try out some concepts and get measurements - make changes from. Powered elevator seat and cable steering worked out well. Lots of changes planed for production units, but overall the customer was very pleased.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Flexscoot » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:28 am

Nice rig!
Your hubmotor seems nice (is it a geared motor? what is the wheel diameter?)
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:22 am

Thanks. I gave a standard wheel barrow balance board direct drive motor a try and it worked out well. It is 36v 14". A bit heavy unfortunately.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Ianhill » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:17 pm

Looks very functional and unique, the lift out seat is a gem all the weight is over the axle very good design.

Can the front wheels be locked so it can not move when the lift mech is getting you out ?, simple wheel chair type be sufficent.

Edit.
I can see them.
Last edited by Ianhill on Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:42 pm

Thanks Ian. It only has a barely functional brake on one rear wheel for the testing and ad shoots. It works ok but we spent only a little time- money on this as it was left off the original prototype request and added after we were happy with the overall drive function. Production unit will need two wheel brakes with locks and a seat use - motor kill switch. All the old timers I showed it to are now after me for one. :P
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby Flexscoot » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks (I thought that it was a smaller diameter wheel).
Does it conveniently follow the pace of the walker?
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Re: Powered Mobility walker

Postby speedmd » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:34 pm

I tried it with a low powered controller and at a lower voltage than it was designed for, and it runs nice and easy with the thumb throttle. No issue with it running off away from you. Higher voltage may cause issues.
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