Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Care Design Award Winner.
Awarded Silver for Good Differently Abled and Seniors' Assistance Design.

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair
by Ran Zhou

  • Awarded April 15, 2020
  • CLIENT: Northeastern University
  • 202

Ancer, the bedsore preventing wheelchair. It focuses not only on the fluidness of its movements, but also the comfort of the patient, especially those who are using it for an extended period of time. The innovative design along with a dynamic airbag built into the seat cushion, and rotatable handle, differentiates it from the regular wheelchair. With much effort invested, the design of the wheelchair was completed and proved to help prevent bedsores. The solution and design principles are based on results collected from wheelchair users, which makes leads to an authentic user experience.

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Good  Design

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Good Design

Great Design by Ran Zhou

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Great Design by Ran Zhou

Inspirational Wheelchair Design

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Inspirational Wheelchair Design

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair Image

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair Image

Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

Ran Zhou

Designer of Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair


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Interview with Ran Zhou on Ancer Dynamic Wheelchair

What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
The story of Ancer begins with my grandma, a wheelchair user. When she sits still in the wheelchair for a while, she needs family to help her change her body, especially her hip, or her hip would hurt or even cause pressure ulcer. But this is a huge stress on my family's time and body. So I started thinking about designing an anti pressure ulcer wheelchair to help elderly disabled people with weak hands and feet to change their body position on the wheelchair more easily and prevent pressure ulcer on the hip.
What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
Ancer is an anti-pressure ulcer wheelchair. By helping wheelchair users shift their body position, it can relieve the pain in hips from sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time. Through sensing und reminding the wheelchair user, helping them slightly move the place where ischium presses on the skin, so as to improve user’s experience and prevent pressure sores.
Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
This design was not commissioned by the company. I hope to design for the elderly with disabilities like my grandma.
Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
I don't have the ability to produce products yet, if a company wants to produce my products, I will be happy to cooperate with them.
What made you design this particular type of work?
I always wanted to design some medical-related products, and the wheelchair users I saw around gave me this inspiration.
Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
I am studying medical design at Kiel School of Design, and many designs in our school have given me a lot of help.
What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ANCER offers high quality solutions for extended use of wheelchair and is one of the few that uses dynamic seat cushions with focus on patients with complex demands.
How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
Ancer is the abbreviation of "Anti-Pressureulcer", this is my wish for this product. And he is very similar to the pronunciation of "answer", I hope this product is the answer that people with disabilities hope to get.
Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
The ultimate question is: How to prevent? The first step is to understand. By reading academic papers regarding bedsores, I was able grasp the situation better. The next step is observation. I interviewed wheelchair patients and personally tried using a wheelchair for first-hand experience. Based on that, I came up the design principles of the bedsore-preventing wheelchair, which is: mobility and safety.
What is the most unique aspect of your design?
What makes ANCER special is that it pays attention to the discomfort brought to wheelchair users due to prolonged meditation, and through the rotation of the sensors, airbags and grips in the seat cushion, ANCER can provide "reminder,select mode ,Move"a complete experience for the whole process.
Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
Most of the time I finish this project by myself. In the early stage of the design, I mainly cooperated with the disabled, and in the later stage of the design, I have sought the help of mechanical experts to understand the relevant knowledge.
What is the role of technology in this particular design?
Technology guarantees the operation of this wheelchair.ANCER’s reminder system consists of two sensors and a timer. All devices are integrated into the seat cushion. The sensors can detect the patient’s hip’s current condition. Paired with the timer, it can analyse the patient’s current condition.
What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
The challenge during research was that patients disliked being treated as research respondents for bedsores. To overcome this, I sat in a wheelchair personally to interview them. Through that I was able to collect information for the design of the wheelchair. The challenge during development was safety. Due to weaker limbs, the chances of them falling due to the design would be increased. The solution was to adjust the angle of cushion movements. A safety belt is added too.
How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
I want to know more people's evaluation of my design, especially people from different countries.
What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
I learned a lot of things, and my ability to express, understand, and observe has greatly improved.

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