GRIT Leveraged Freedom Chair

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

GRIT draws on the high-level research and development talent at MIT’s academic labs to develop technological solutions to global problems and creates a pathway for proven concepts to progress into products. By uniquely bridging the gap between innovation in academia and implementation in the real world, we can make a significant impact for people around the world.
 
GRIT is currently focused on scaling up dissemination of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). The LFC is a lever-powered mobility aid designed for use in developing countries, where existing products cannot cope with the rough terrain. The key innovation behind the device is its simple variable mechanical advantage drivetrain, where the user adjusts hand position on the stow-able levers to change torque and speed, enabling a versatile platform for indoor and outdoor use. 
 
Since the user changes body geometry to effectively “shift gears,” the LFC drivetrain can be made of a simple and robust assembly of bicycle components, making the chair manufacturable and repairable anywhere in the world for the same price or less as current devices to reach the fourteen million people in need of mobility aids in rural areas of developing countries.