Hacker Helps His Mother Lift Her Walker When He’s Not There

[typo]’s mother gets around with a walker. It’s a great assistive device until she has to lift the heavy thing up into her car. Noting that this was a little cruel he did as any hacker would and found a way to automate the process.

The build is pretty cool. She had to give up her passenger seat, but it’s a small price to pay for independence. He removed the door paneling on the passenger side. Then he welded on a few mounting points. Next he had to build the device.

The well-built device has a deceptively simple appearance. The frame is made from CNC milled panels and the ever popular aluminum extrusion. It uses a 12V right angle drive and some belting to lift the chair. There’s no abundance of fancy electronics here. A toggle switch changes the direction of the motor. There are some safety endstops and an e-stop.

Now all she has to do is strap the walker to the door. She picks the direction she wants the lift to go and presses a button. After which she walks the short distance to the driver’s seat, and cruises away.

17 thoughts on “Hacker Helps His Mother Lift Her Walker When He’s Not There

  1. Pfft, over-engineered. That walker is light. Just attach two thin cords to the underside the door, going on the outside over the top of the window and to the walker. Then you can use the powered windows to lift and lower it.

    1. But then she has to start the car first and walk around to the passenger side to strap the walker in. All told that’s a lot of effort, and when we’re talking someone who requires assistance from a walker, every bit of energy saved is helpful.

    1. Yah some places in north America need all original seats installed to pass a safety inspection. So unless it’s done by a conversion specialist who then relists it as different config, then you might have issues.

    2. The installation was done after talking to a guy from TÜV. (TÜV is the local authority for car safety). Afterwards a TÜV official came in our workshop and approved – everything ok.

  2. great idea but why does the one size fits all mentality of vehcle “safety” have to restrict such great ideas.

    mainly because government departments are lazy and anything that might be different id obviously wrong because some shiny arse needs to get up and do some something – yep I work for one of those govt departments and that s the way it works – there are a lot of good people knobbled by bull shit beurocracy

    1. Doh yeah that’s probably more of a real world issue… But it looks like soft parts are not tucked down very neatly… So could be got only as “bad” as having a passenger maybe.

    1. jupp. cant believe how many people with walking supports are allowed to drive… maybe some of em have cars converted to throttle and brake with hands, but most of em – i would guess – havent.

    2. I don’t quite understand how the ability to walk across uneven ground, supporting one’s own weight is related to the ability to apply pressure to a gas or brake pedal. You are aware that most vehicles have automatic transmissions, which only require light pressure from one foot to operate, right?

    3. Driving a modern car with power brakes doesn’t require a lot of force to brake. Plus, using a walker doesn’t mean a person has low leg strength and speed; they might have pinched nerves when standing but not sitting, or spinal weakness, or just less leg strength so hitting the brake quickly isn’t a problem.

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