THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A young man, by riding a two-wheeler without using his hands a few months ago, turned a few heads on the roads of Anad. What the onlookers might have mistaken as foolhardy heroics, was actually a test run for the prototype of ‘V4D’, a two-wheeler designed for people with limb disabilities.
It has been developed by four students at Mohandas College of Engineering and Technology Deekshith D, Sreechand G S, Abhilash B R, Midhun Krishna M and Bharath B S as part of their final year BTech project. “We noticed that the number of people with disabilities was rising. The ‘V4D’, an acronym for Vehicle for Disabled, was designed to help people with limb disabilities become independent,” says Bharath B S.
The two-wheeler project was completed in two months. They were supported by Pradeep Raj, faculty at the college. A gearless two-wheeler was fitted with a leg bar. All the functions of a handle bar were mechanically linked to the leg bar. A dashboard attached to the leg bar would have buttons for switch, horn, light and dim light. The leg bar helps steer the two-wheeler. For the benefit of people who have lost a leg and hand each, the handle bar is retained. The switches for brake and accelerator can be customized to suit the end user.
Two extra wheels were attached to the rear end of the vehicle to improve the stability of the vehicle. Its maximum speed was around 40 kmph when the students tested it. Its fuel efficiency is much lesser than ordinary two-wheelers. “There is scope for improvement in the design,” says Bharath.