This is one of the earliest emails I could find about the Morph. Julian Groeli worked with Mike Augspurger at One-Off.
Subject: Re: Fw: transforming wheelchair
Date: May 11, 2005 11:28:45 AM EDT
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the years, when Bill and I have been out handcycling (on a Hall handcycle, though the circumstances would be the same on a Top End / Invacare or Freedom Ryder handcycles) I wished it would be possible when we got to a destination - to enter a building or home - by converting or morphing the handcycle into a more compact, maneuverable, wheelchair-like vehicle which could allow the rider more accessibility to more places - more interior spaces and more exterior places with tight maneuverability. Handcycles, like the ones I noted above (road bikes designed for longer distance and faster speeds) usually have a wide turning radius and lower seating position. This design is not optimal for other activities and mobility. Thus the intent to have this morphing vehicle - "Morphing Mobility! "
The desire has been there to have / design / build a morphing handcycle/wheelchair for some time and as Bill noted - our intent is to develop one.
We should get together and discuss the possibilities.
At 06:35 PM 5/10/2005 -0400, you wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Julian Groeli" <email@example.com
To: "Bill Warner" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 10:58 AM
Subject: Re: transforming wheelchair
If possible I would like to help with the design and engineering of
this vehicle. This would extend from early concept development through
to a complete CAD model in SolidWorks for prototyping.
Currently I would like draw up a kind of spec sheet to detail all of
the required characteristics of each mode of operation (Turning Radius,
etc.) and the means of transformation (quick release, lever action,
etc.). This will help us find relationships and illustrate where our
most serious challenges will be.
The next stage would be to come up with a few concepts of how the
vehicle could transform, and to mock them up in CAD to see how they fit
together. This would then give us the preferred direction, that would
then be further refined for prototyping and testing.
I would like to talk more about this with you and with everyone else
involved to get to know the team.
On May 10, 2005, at 5:32 AM, Bill Warner wrote:
The bike wouln't have the mountain bike mode.
Upright handcycle ala New England Handcycles (blue bike on loan to
Mike) Racing bike, ala Bobby Hall...low, legs in frontWheelchair mode - somehow get rid of drive mechanism.
The world of transforming vehicles of any sort is quite small. Most
never attempt this because a special purpose vehicle is so much better than a
general purpose one.
However, if you can only take one vehicle with you, and you can't get
out of it, then a vehicle that can transform, even though it would be much
heavier, makes sense.
searched for "transforming bicycle" ...
http://www.craveonline.com/gear/stories.php?sid=1898 Shows a rear
wheel approach that would allow slow speed stability, but titlt cornering!
One design that does transform is the folding bicycle. A little
different because it is active only when unfolded, and when folded, it just sits
there. Nevertheless, instructive:
Julian... what would you like to do on this project? Its not very well
formed yet, but the intent is there!
----- Original Message -----
To: "Bill Warner" <email@example.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 10:44 AM
Subject: transforming wheelchair
Dear Mr. Warner
My father-in-law, Charlie Brenner, just told me about your project to
develop a transforming wheelchair. I understand that your ideal
solution would encompass the roles of a wheelchair, a mountain bike
and a street bike. While working at One-Off I was also thinking of a
similar design, except without the "street-bike" mode. Either way,
this presents a substantial design challenge, but the resulting product
would make a world of difference.
I would like to learn more about your project, and would welcome the
chance to contribute to the design and engineering process.