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The objective of our project is to create a wheelchair platform that can tilt a power wheelchair and its user back into a nearhorizontal position. The purpose of this is to allow a dentist to work on the patient in the manner and position with which they are most accustomed.

The device currently used by our sponsor, The Virginia Home, is the Versatilt platform. The Versatilt is capable of lifting a maximum weight of 750 lbs. and tilting patients back, up to 65 degrees. However, the platform is too small to accept the power wheelchairs used by the majority of our sponsor’s patients. This means that patients in powered wheelchairs have to be transferred from their chairs and into manual wheelchairs for their dental service. According to OSHA, these patient transfers also cause 28.3% of workplace injuries for nurses and other care staff. Because of this we have created and prototyped a new design that will allow patients to remain in their powered wheelchairs when they go to get dental work done.

In order to accommodate the larger powered wheelchairs and meet our sponsor’s desires, our design incorporates three key design points. The first is the use of heavy duty linear actuators, each of which are capable of exerting 1010 pounds of thrust. The two linear actuators are able to lift the heavier weight of a powered wheelchair and its patient, as well as provide a redundancy system that will ensure that the system will not fail catastrophically. The second design point was the incorporation of a larger tilting platform. This allows the larger powered wheelchairs to be put onto our tilter. The final design consideration was creating a system that would allow the platform to tilt back 80 degrees, which allows for the dentist to work in their normal position. These 3 key design considerations create a system that meets all of the requirements of our project sponsor, while creating a unique system that is not currently on the market.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, wheelchairs


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Gerald Miller

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Bob Crouse

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

A Tilting System for Powered Wheelchairs