Finding the core problem with the disease
Duchenne is a progressive muscular dystrophy disorder that is most common among boys (4 – 28 years old). While interviewing several families with Duchenne kids, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, children and an extensive literature study I established two main problems; 1) the overall mobility of a patient declines while his/her peers’ mobility increases and 2) the current mobility accessories (eg. wheelchairs) inhibit social and mental development because they are stigmatising.
Looking for opportunities
Kids with muscular disorders will shift from their push-bikes to a wheelchair. There are no alternatives between the two, therefore patients will be prematurely placed in a wheelchair. This limits their mobility and reduces the power and mass of the muscles. Resulting in a bigger social gap between the patients and their peers. This insight resulted in an opportunity to design and build a mobility vehicle that offers enough stability, stimulates physical activity and has the same manoeuvrability as a wheelchair.
The MIDWAY is a playful (electric) tricycle especially designed to close the gap between kids with and without muscular disorders
MIDWAY can be used in three different ways, as a kick-scooter (with or without e-support), a push-trike and a fully electric tricycle. This stimulates as much physical movement as possible in each situation and at any stage of the disease.
MIDWAY’s foldable design ensures easy travel for the whole family
I built a first prototype of the MIDWAY and tested it with kids with and without muscular dystrophy and their families. The steering mechanism, the different configurations and its foldability were tested and proved to be a great improvement in the daily lives of the kids and their family.
The electric rear-wheel steering system ensures wheelchair like manoeuvrability when below 5 km/h. Above, it will steer like a bike, making it stable and safe at higher speeds giving opportunity for more risks during play.
The MIDWAY is designed for safety. Offering handbrakes, lights, battery percentages and wheel locking.
The seat is designed to be adjusted in height according to the child’s length and needs. The form stimulates a right posture that is essential for kids with Duchenne.
The seat can be folded into the frame so it can be used as kick scooter. Or in a further stage to mount onto the saddle of the trike easily.