More about Electric Wheelchairs as Drivetrain Sources

More considerations about using used electric wheelchairs as drive systems for the beDorky electric vehicle series such as the Dorkpod or Dorksphere..

Where cost savings is important please consider the value proposition of upcycling a used electric wheelchair as a drive system. We purchased several between $250 and $400 dollars. Our view is when someone moves on to the land of magic unicorns their objects serve little worldly purpose sitting in a garage. Using a chair as a drive system brings an uplifting second life to these devices. Here are listings in our area.

The first image demonstrates a rear wheel drive electric wheelchair drive chassis after the seat and plastic body has bee removed. Most system has a connector for easy joystick hookup. You will need to remove that from the seat and install on your project to control the base. There are typically two very high torque worm drive motors. Steering is achieve by increasing the voltage on one motor while reducing voltage on the other. When the wheels spin a different speeds then turning occurs. Most system will support almost zero turning radius. Some will support full zero turning by spinning one motor in the opposite direction of the other.

Wheelchair type is a very important consideration. Seek our chairs with smaller wheels like shown. Larger wheels make for a difficult project. Look for a front wheel drive system like the second image shown. The rear wheel drive version shown below is most likely NOT what you want. Rear wheel drive systems are for extreme dorksters who want to do wheelies. Rear wheel drive will pull the front end off the ground when the joystick is moved forward rapidly. Front wheel drive torque pulls the unit tighter to the ground for safer transport.

Used Electric Wheelchair Drivetrain Chassis
Used Rear Wheel Drive Electric Wheelchair Drivetrain Chassis.
Front Wheel Drive Wheelchair Drivetrain Chassis
Front Wheel Drive Wheelchair Drivetrain Chassis (safer).
Dorkpod Drivetrain Floor Fitting
Fitting the Dorkpod Floor with Plywood Blank. Then transferred to Real Floor.
Dorkpod Drivetrain Side View
Dorkpod Drivetrain Side View.
Dorkpod Drivetrain Isometric View
Dorkpod Drivetrain Isometric View.
Dorkpod Drivetrain Rear View
Dorkpod Drivetrain Rear View.

Back to why we use wheelchair parts here.