In the field of providing mobility for the elderly and disabled, the aspect of dealing with stairs continues largely unresolved. This paper focuses on presenting the development of a stair-climbing wheelchair mechanism with high single-step capability. The mechanism is based on front and rear wheel clusters connected to the base (chair) via powered linkages so as to permit both autonomous stair ascent and descent in the forward direction, and high single-step functionality for such as direct entry to and from a van. Primary considerations were inherent stability, provision of a mechanism that is physically no larger than a standard powered wheelchair, aesthetics, and being based on readily available low-cost components.
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