Leveraged Freedom Chair

  • Project Leader

    Kevin Young

  • Organisation

    Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT) & Continuum

  • Designed By

    Jake Childs

  • Project Location

    Boston, MA (United States)

  • Project website


  • Name of nominating Icsid Member organisation


Wheelchairs bring the gift of mobility to millions of disabled individuals, until rough terrain gets in the way. What if we could give people even more flexibility regardless of nature’s conditions? Continuum collaborated with MIT’s Mobility Lab to envision the next generation of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) a high-performance wheelchair designed to help the disabled in developing countries.

The LFC is a wheelchair designed to move beyond pavement. For the disabled person living in a developing country, traditional push-rim wheelchairs fall short because they limit the user to flatter, smoother ground. Unlike traditional wheelchairs, the LFC uses the chain and sprocket drive train of a standard bicycle in conjunction with two extended push levers to allow the user to move 34% faster on flat ground and get 53% higher torque on rough terrain. Most importantly, it delivers a newfound sense of emotional independence for its users.

In developing countries, wheelchair-accessible buildings and roads are rare and there are no government programs like the ADA protecting wheelchair-bound individuals. The cost and infrastructure for these programs is not realistic. The LFC is comparably priced with other developing country wheelchairs, which cost $100-$300. In the US, however, the average off-road wheelchair price is over $5000.

Continuum helped the LFC designers envision the next generation of the Leveraged Freedom Chair: The LFC Sport. This high-performance version will be sold to western markets.