Hill Country Disability Group

Ground Mobility Device

Ground mobility device Ground mobility device.

Ground mobility device

About the Project

An international collaborative project was initiated to design and manufacture a mobility device for people with disabilities who have difficulties walking indoors and outdoors close to their home.

The two primary participants were the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (CIDA funded), Canada, and the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.

Women using the ground mobility device in activities of daily life Women using the ground mobility device in activities of daily life

Why a ground mobility device?

A ground mobility device provides an alternative way for a disabled person to move inside and close to home. Because the seat is close to the ground it eliminates the need to change the environment to a wheelchair height. This design will help the person to:

  • Move from one place to another independently;
  • Perform activities at ground height (e.g., eating with the family, sweeping, school work, child care, cooking, washing dishes);
  • Carry items (e.g., a water bucket, children).

Sketch of persons who can use the ground mobility device

Who can use this device?

People who have difficulties walking:

  • People with old or new injuries to their legs (e.g., polio, amputations, spinal cord injuries);
  • People with long or short term difficulties;
  • Children, adults, or the aged;
  • Women or men.

Sketch of a community in which the mobility device can be used

Where to use this device?

  • In communities where activities are performed on or close to the ground;
  • Urban or rural areas;
  • In the home, school, or at work.

How to use this device?

To use the device on her own the person must be able to:

  • Sit up;
  • Use both arms/hands.

The person must learn how to:

  1. Lock/unlock the brake (turn the knob);
  2. Climb on/off (put lock on first).
  3. Go forwards / Stop or slow down (hold wheels) / Go backwards
  4. Turn

Turn the knob to lock/unlock the brakes Person climbing on/off the ground mobility device

Person illustrating how to go forward, stop or slow down and how to go backwards Illustration of how to turn the mobility device

Making the device

  • This is a simple design which can be easily changed to fit the person better.
  • Locally available materials should be used whenever possible.
  • The costs depend upon local circumstances, material and labour costs and number of devices produced.

General dimensions

A: Ground clearance 100 mm
B: Castor height 75 mm
C: Seat length 465 mm
D: Backrest angle 100 degrees
E: Large wheel height 270 mm
F: Backrest height 270 mm
G: Seat width (not shown) 425 to 575 mm
H: Maximum width (not shown) 580 mm appro

General dimensions of the device

Parts of the Device

Parts of the Device.

Other options for the device: push handles, back and seat cushion, seat belt etc.

Other Options

A: Push handles.
B: Back cushion, extra back or side support.
C: Seat belt.
D: Seat cushion.
E: Leg extension.
F: Larger or smaller seating area (not shown).

Options for Pushing

  • Hands on wheels;
  • Hands on rim;
  • Hands on pegs.

Design with jute or plastic weaving and one castor wheel.

Wheel parts Device with jute or plastic weaving and one castor wheel


For further information on any aspect of this project, or to give suggestions, please contact:

Vikram Panchal
National Institute of Design
(NID), Paldi, Ahmedabad 380 007
Tel: 079 663 9692
Fax: 079 663 8465
Email: niḍadinet.ernet.in
Tanya Packer or Susan Mulholland
International Centre for the Advancement of Community
Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) Queen's University, Kingston
Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada
Tel: 613 545 6881
Fax: 613 545 6882
Email: packert@post.queensu.ca


For full details see: Production and distribution of assistive devices for people with disabilities

Other mobility solutions