Hi from Brazil

You dont have to, but its interesting!

MAIN WEBSITE: www.wheelchairdriver.com

Hi from Brazil

Postby lucas » 02 Jul 2012, 15:54

hi folks,

what a great website and forum!

My name is Lucas,28, I am an economist. My father Helvio, 59, is a mechanical engineer who them moved to programing and operations research. For 30 yrs he has MS, which progressively limited his movements. We are Brazilian, he lives in São Paulo and I now leave in Brasília. Any one else from Brazil around here?

We come from a family of "home inventors", my grand father was a carpenter/welder with a small repair shop. My father as a kid loved taking things apart, designing model airplanes, etc. In college he and some friends created engines, a car, and full sized 4 passengers plane. I´m an economist, working with applied statistics/econometrics and interested in physics/engineering.

As movement became more difficult my father (and more recently I) invented/adapted a series of gadgets to facilitate his life. In 1994 he purchased his first electric scooter, an "Amigo" (don´t know the model), which by then was the only option in Brasil.
He now owns 2 scooters (heavily modified) and and two standing powerchairs from Brasilian manufacturers
- one from "Freedom" (http://www.freedom.ind.br/content/produtos/index.php?stIdioma=&boInterna=true&cat=2&linhaid=31&produtoid=13), which has this complicated electronics, and broke soon
- one from "Jaguaribe"(http://www.baxmannjaguaribe.com.br/Produtos.aspx) which is simple and more durable,
has any one heard of these Brazilian manufacturers? (I don´t think that they export)

Over the years my father (and more recently I)invented several things to facilitate his life including: modifications on the arms of the scooters, batteries, home made car lifts, a hydraulic elevator to get him into the pool, a standing scooter, electric bed (and a portable version of it). Our latest project was a rear entry lowered floor modification of a Peugeot Partner.

That is partially for the fun of it, but mainly because theese products are super expensive here. Normaly 2 or 3 times the US price.

We have some ideas to share/discuss and questions to ask on car adaptations, scooters vs. powerchairs, lifts, engines, etc. I´ll write specific posts on these not to mix too many subjects and after I have time to read through what has already been posted/discussed.

for now just a quick question: I noticed that scooters are barely discussed in the forum? why is that? does any one knows of another forum with this focus?

In any case, I just wanted to congratulate Burgerman for his website and all participants in this excelent forum. I´ve been scavenging information on the Internet to help with our projects for 6 months now, and there is nothing comparable to this site and forum. Tks a lot!

Posts: 4
Joined: 01 Jul 2012, 13:16
Location: Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil

Re: Hi from Brazil

Postby Phil Esgate » 02 Jul 2012, 16:06

Hi Lucas

May I be one of the first to welcome you to Burgerman (John)'s website and forum.

Most of us on this forum are powerchair users, but there are a few threads about scooters. You will find the main manufacturers of scooters have their own user forums - For example Pride mobility.

I hope from all of your inventions that you will be able to offer some interesting input and maybe glean some information for your own adaptations and modifications to help you. Nice meeting you - Phil :)
Phil Esgate
Posts: 169
Joined: 07 Nov 2011, 15:22
Location: Standish, Lancashire

Re: Hi from Brazil

Postby lucas » 04 Jul 2012, 19:05

hi Phil ,

thank you for the welcome message and the indication for the of the forum.
I look forward to interacting too.

best regards
Posts: 4
Joined: 01 Jul 2012, 13:16
Location: Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil

Re: Hi from Brazil

Postby ex-Gooserider » 06 Jul 2012, 05:00

I would also like to welcome you, and say that it sounds like you will fit in quite well with the crowd here....

As to the scooter / chair difference, I would tend to say that it probably is due in large part to the difference in the "typical users" that each is targeted at.

My observation here in the US is that scooters tend to be used mostly by folks that are fairly mobile, and can stand / walk for at least short distances OK, but need some help for the longer distances... Typically the scooter users I see are elderly and / or very obese. Mostly they don't seem to want to modify their scooters beyond decorative things or accessories like cargo baskets. At least the bigger scooters have reasonable speeds, tolerable suspensions, lights, and so forth, so they are reasonably complete packages that don't NEED a lot of modifications... However since the user is generally semi-mobile, the fact that a scooter is less manoeuvrable isn't a big issue.

OTOH, power-chairs tend to be sold more to folks with more severe limitations where the user has very limited ability, or can't stand / walk at all, and essentially has to 'live' in the chair when not in bed - typically spinal cord injuries, and other severe handicaps - often if the mobility / rehab industry has anything to say about it, not even in good enough shape to push a manual chair.... Since the chair is our legs, we can only go where the chair can, and we must go for manoeuvrability over other factors like stability, suspension, speed, etc... Given the more severe nature of the chair user's handicaps, and the other things that were sacrificed for manoeuvrability, there is a lot more demand for modifications to make the chairs fit our needs better, especially for those of us that don't like those sacrifices...

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