Sunday, November 10, 2013

Some words about the concept.

Hello my name is Skye and I am the designer of The Spider Crab. 2 1/2 years ago now I had an accident which paralyzed me from the collarbone down. While technically I am a quadriplegic, I like to explain my abilities by saying I am a mix between a paraplegic and a full quadriplegic because a common misperception is that quadriplegic means no arm movement at all. In actuality quadriplegic means impairment in all four limbs, not necessarily total paralysis in all four limbs.
The muscles that I still have use of are muscles that aid in pulling. The biceps, posterior deltoid and the trapezius muscles are alive and well. This means that I can still do the one activity that I love the most which is flying kites, but more specifically flying BIG kites.
The spider crab has been designed around my circumstances. The hand controls are adapted in a way that will make it very easily controlled by myself, or someone with an injury similar to mine. The bucket seats and five-point harness will stabilize my body and shoulders while I fly the kite. The crab buggy style of kite buggy was utilized because it lends itself well to being used with two people. Of course the roll bar was added to prevent further injury in the event of an accident.
While initially the buggy was made to accommodate two people out of necessity (I cannot fly the kite and steer at the same time) I am excited about the opportunities it opens. For instance if a disabled person such as myself were to fly with an able-bodied person, two kites could be flown because the able-bodied person could steer with their feet.

The buggy will also be able to be used by two people who are my level... what an accomplishment! Actually the buggy could be flown by two people with less function because steering will require little strength and movement. While I don't know how exactly the buggy will perform in relation to regular trike style setups, I don't think it will be significantly slower. With the right kites and wheels it can be very close to as fast as a regular buggy. I think this is actually the coolest thing about this project. Even in the sport of wheelchair rugby, a sport were only quadriplegics are allowed to play, there is a lot of difference in the level of abilities of the player, with players who have a higher injury being significantly slower than those with more function. With this adapted set up, severely disabled people can fly with able-bodied people as though they are equal in abilities. I think it's incredible.

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