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Limbitless Debuts Cheaper Way For Quadriplegics To Drive Wheelchairs

Charlie-Merritt-Demo.jpg
WMFE
/
The Florida Channel
A University of Central Florida student group has created a cheaper way for quadriplegics to drive wheelchairs.

A University of Central Florida student group has created a cheaper way for quadriplegics to drive wheelchairs.

Limbitless Solutions demoed Project Xavier today. The 3-D printed interface is a few wires attached to the driver’s temple, allowing them to drive the wheelchair using facial muscles.

Albert Manero, founder of Limbitless Solutions, says the goal is to be able to give all their products away for free.

“It takes community support, it takes university and corporate support,” Manero said. “Our goal is to get this technology in the hands of a wheelchair company or a veteran’s association so they can get the device to veterans in mass.”

Charlie Merritt learned how to use the technology in about an hour and a half. The Deltona quadriplegic drove his wheelchair from the engineering building at UCF to the Student Union.

Merritt said he clenched the left side of his jaw turns left, the right side to turn right. Biting down goes forward.

“Chewing gum is kinda out of the question when you’re using it,” he said.

The technology costs between $250 to $350. The technology isn’t new, but it is much cheaper than the system Merritt currently uses.

“Thousands of dollars less,” Merritt said. “You’re talking $300 for what they’re doing and $5,000 to $7,000 for the device I use currently.”

Limbitless Solutions rose to national prominence when Robert Downey Junior gave 7-year-old Alex Pring his 3-D-printed Iron Man arm.

See below for other stories on Limbitless:

UCF Partners With Nonprofit To Research Cheap, 3-D Printed Bionics

Brazillian Boy Receives Bionic Arm In Orlando

-- Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.