A method and vehicle preferably a wheelchair (10) for transporting and transferring an invalid person is described. The wheelchair has first and second frames (12 and 48) with drive wheels (18) between which is provided a chair (82) or support (83). The first frame has top and bottom sliding mechanisms (34 and 36) which are mounted by I-beam extensions (38 and 40) to the bars (24 and 26) of the first frame. The second frame has top and bottom rails (54 and 56) which are slidably connected to the sliding mechanisms of the first frame. The rails have slots (78) through which extend the center portions (38C and 40C) of the extensions which allow the first frame to move along the length of the rails. The bottom rails have front wheels (60), intermediate wheels (68) and stabilizing wheels (70). The chair is connected to the second frame by belts (84) and ratchets (86) and has a lifting system (90). In use, the wheelchair is moved adjacent the open doorway (104) of the automotive vehicle (100) and the second frame with the chair and person are slid over the seat (102). As the second frame moves, the second frame tilts such that the intermediate wheels touch the ground surface (72). The seat is lowered using the ratchets and removed from the wheelchair.
The Board of Trustees operating Michigan State University
Smith, Donald J. Jr.; Atkinson, Patrick J.; Evans, Melissa L.; Londo, Shawn P.; and Ryan, William J., "Method and Apparatus for Transferring a Person" (1997). Mechanical Engineering Patents. 21.