sealPurdue News Photo

May 6, 2003

Purdue-designed wheelchair goes down stairs

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Purdue University mechanical engineering seniors Mike Brock, left, of Naperville, Ill., Scott Davison, seated, of Warsaw, Ind., and Eric Breidenbaugh of Elmhurst, Ill., position a prototype wheelchair capable of descending stairs in the event of an emergency. The chair was designed and built by 18 students in a senior design course taught by John Nolfi, manager of the university's Product Engineering and Realization Laboratory. A pair of plastic tracks, engaged with a hand crank, enable the chair to descend stairs. The chair could save lives in the event of a fire or other building emergency when elevators are shut down, Nolfi said. Students estimate the chair could be manufactured at a retail cost of less than $2,000. (Purdue News Service Photo/David Umberger)

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John Nolfi
(765) 496-7869

Emil Venere
(765) 494-4709