For MakeMIT 2017 (a hardware focused hackathon), a few friends and I built a concept medical stretcher that can handle stairs more smoothly for improved patient transport and increased safety for emergency responders. The inspiration came from having read stories about the difficulty of getting patients down from multistory buildings without elevators or if they had been broken. In these cases, emergency responders lifted the patient and stretcher as they navigate down narrow staircases.
We looked at existing wheel designs and built a rough model of what it’d look like. We used 80/20 aluminum for the frame and laser cut wood pieces for the tri-wheel system. Access to supplies were limited, so we
assembled jury-rigged the wheels with zip-ties, rubber bands and hot glue.
If I pursued this further, some improvements would be to add active suspension to each leg, a bed that rotates within the stretcher frame to keep the patient flat relative to the ground, and wheels that can yaw.
Our hackathon submission: Climber | Devpost
Unfortunately, I didn’t take great pictures of it in action, but here’s a still from a video: