Ben Heck's Wheelchair Add-On Motor Assembly Allows Hands-Free Mobility for Expectant Father on element14's "The Ben Heck Show"

Ben Heck bobblehead contest continues with the chance for fans to win weekly Ben Heck gear and the grand prize bobblehead

Aug 20, 2012, 03:04 ET from element14

CHICAGO, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- element14, the first collaborative engineering community and electronics store for design engineers and technology enthusiasts, and modding guru Ben Heck, help a wheelchair-bound expectant father prepare for the arrival of his child in the latest episode of "The Ben Heck Show." By designing a motor assembly mod that easily attaches to a wheelchair, Ben increases functionality and hands-free mobility for element14 community member Josh Benhart so he can safely carry his newborn while getting around the house.


"While I'm not a parent myself, I understand the immeasurable bond between a parent and child. I couldn't resist helping an excited father-to-be improve mobility while in his wheelchair, allowing for him to take care of his baby and spend as much one-on-one time as possible," said Ben. "With such significance behind this project, I definitely pulled out all the stops to create the ultimate, safe and mobile, hands-free chair."

To create the tank-like motorized control mechanism and foot-controlled joystick, Ben uses an H-bridge DC motor driver and a few MOSFET transistors to rig the components together and ultimately control motor speed and chair directionality. Ben connects Josh's wheelchair to the add-on motor assembly by leveraging the weight of the chair itself and the front tine that sits on the footrest, completing the perfect mobile accessory for the dad-to-be.

"The element14 community has more than 100,000 members who collaborate on innovative design concepts, inspiring many creative and useful projects," said Kevin Yapp, chief of strategy and marketing, Premier Farnell. "This episode is a perfect example as Josh's project suggestion allowed Ben to take engineering to the next level, giving Josh the ability to hold his child without decreasing mobility." 

Fans of the show are invited to join the discussion online at element14 to learn more about the hands-free wheelchair featured on this episode, as well as to send Ben a challenge or project suggestion for a future episode. In addition, the Ben Heck bobblehead contest continues, giving viewers a chance to win show t-shirts and the grand prize bobblehead.

Editors' Note:
An image of Ben's hands-free wheelchair build is available at:

About "The Ben Heck Show"

"The Ben Heck Show" is a bi-weekly online television series aired in English that's dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding with a global audience of design engineers, students and electronic enthusiasts. Sponsored exclusively by element14, each episode spotlights Ben's mods of popular electronic devices while educating viewers on the underlying technology powering each project.

About element14

Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £990.8m and underlying profits of £93.3m last year.


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SOURCE element14