“Through the whole process, I actually began to see my design turn into a prototype, and now my prototype might actually become a patented reality. By the end, I was so happy that I had chosen to take a chance on myself and do something that brought my engineering and hooping life together.”
“I thought of this product two years ago—I wrote it down and kind of forgot about it for awhile. And I realized that if I didn’t do it, I’d always regret it, so I just decided to pursue it. The competition is a great outlet for anyone interested in innovation and development. The experience gives you the tools to develop the idea and the confidence to continue.”
Wheel-Ease: A fold-out wheelchair wheel that that makes it easier to transfer a patient to and from the chair
“Our invention tries to solve one of the problems that’s most cited as hindering the daily activities of manual wheelchair users, and that’s transferring to and from another object. When you actually build a prototype, there are a lot of design issues that you’re going to redo. It’s an iterative process.
We had many things that we changed after we built the prototype.
One of the things we found worked well was the single-latching system, as opposed to using three latches; it’s easier to use and actually increases rigidity of the wheel.”
— Nick Haehn
Innovators: Brian Blakeman, Keith Rein, Chris Weber, Nali Thephavong and Nick Haehn