Photo courtesy of Procubed LLC
Husband and wife team Jim and Teresa Maerzke recently launched a special campaign aimed at providing injured veterans with their technology for a new, "pain-free" wheelchair.
WiSys Innovators Jim and Teresa Maerzke, president and vice president of engineering consulting firm Procubed LLC, left the corporate world years ago to enter the "business of problem-solving." Since then, they have worked with many regional partners to create solutions from simple fixtures to complex, automated machines and marketed products.
With more than 150 million people using wheelchairs daily, one problem that stuck out to the Maerzkes was a lack of innovation in the manual drive mechanism (also known as rim drive) used by nearly every wheelchair since 1881. Users manually move and brake the wheels, causing overuse injuries to their hands and wrists.
Their solution was Procubed's Linear to Rotary Motion (LRM) mechanism, which uses two push-and-pull levers to drive, steer and brake their i5d Wheelchair. Their LRM-based drive doubles the power to the wheels while eliminating pain from over-stressing users' hands.
With the goal of eventually donating their improved wheelchair design to veterans, Procubed launched a special two-part campaign to raise up to $30,000 to further develop and market the i5d Wheelchair. Donors can choose from nine support levels, each with different incentives ranging from an iron-on logo to a complete LRM Training kit for educational or business purposes.