Christopher Olsen

Description[from Freebase]

Christopher Jon Olsen is the creator of the Universal wheelchair, the first all-terrain, omnidirectional, stair climbing wheelchair. He is also the co-founder of NuEra Mobility Inc. Christopher started designing the wheelchair in his senior year of high school for an independent study science research class through the University at Albany. The idea for his project came from his mother, a nurse who cares for a patient with multiple sclerosis who'd played wheelchair tennis until she lost additional functionality. Christopher began working on a device to help her regain her athletic ability when he began to recognize the numerous everyday obstacles people in wheelchairs face. As a result he decided to design a wheelchair that could function on all terrain. His design criteria included: omni directional movement; the ability to climb curbs and other obstacles up to eight inches high; the ability to travel along natural paths and rough terrain; 4-wheel drive; and the ability to adjust the center of gravity, seat height and width. He began with preliminary sketches of wheel designs and found a hubless wheel would allow off-set pivot points for added extension of the arms.

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