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A basketball wheelchair with an innovative steering system.

  • Steering movement When the seat is tilted, the steering axis turns in the heading direction.

  • The functioning of S'WERVE The wheelchair is steered by shifting weight.

    The functioning of S'WERVE The wheelchair is steered by shifting weight.

  • The design is based on a geometric formal language.

  • The two tandem gas springs provide controlled swivel movement on the seat.

  • The raised seat shell is designed for wheel protection and optimal comfort.

  • S'WERVE - a basketball wheelchair with innovative steering system.

What it does

In contrast to conventional models, people with limited arm and hand function can control "S'WERVE" by shifting their weight and operate it with one hand. The principle is "steering by swiveling" and combines innovation and movement in a new way.

Your inspiration

For me, innovation means combining existing technologies in new ways. When I was looking into a sports wheelchair, I tried to apply exactly that. In my environment, I investigated alternative steering options and came across the longboard. Wheelchair + longboard seemed to me to be a very interesting approach with potential. The idea fascinated me so much that I elaborated the concept in my bachelor thesis.

How it works

S'WERVE can be steered by shifting weight. The seat shell is connected to the footrest, and the steering axis is located on the footrest. The footrest is connected to the frame by means of a swivel joint and tandem gas pressure springs so that a controlled swivel movement in the seat is possible. The weight is shifted from left to right; right to left while seated and thus the control axis, which is attached to the footrest, is set in the according direction.

Design process

For me it was clear that I had to build a functional model for the credibility of the concept. I made the functional model using an old everyday wheelchair and wood. To create the function as simple as possible, I installed steering rubbers instead of a swivel joint and mounted a surfboard axle (surf skate axle) for the steering axle. The first test drive was successful! The system worked, but it was very wobbly on the seat. A well controlled and safe operation was not yet guaranteed. During the revision of the functional model I concentrated on the weak points. Therefore, I additionally installed a stop, tilt supports and tension springs in the functional model. In terms of design, I also wanted to be innovative and move away from the old familiar tubular constructions. The new angular profile of the frame should breathe fresh air and combine technical innovation with new aesthetic approaches.

How it is different

The "steering by swiveling" function, i.e. steering a wheelchair by shifting weight, is new and unknown. This opens up new possibilities for many people with limitations in their arms and hands, as well as for sports. The design is also based on a new design language, oriented to the bike world and with a focus on a sporty / modern look. This also differentiates S'WERVE visually from common basketball wheelchairs. The seat shell provides optimal comfort and can be customized to individual needs. The seat shell is also made of carbon fibers, so S'WERVE once again meets the demands of lightness and innovation. The box frame as well as the footrest are cast aluminum profiles. The handrim is covered with perforated rubber for a firm grip.

Future plans

The realization of S'WERVE is not easy and requires professional support. With the help of engineers, the next step would be to work out the swivel joint and the steering axle in a producible way. Crowdfunding or a close cooperation with a wheelchair manufacturer would allow to pursue the project even more targeted.


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