North Dakota Patent of the Month – March 2022

The world’s first motorized wheelchair was created in 1916 but failed to move into production. The first electric wheelchair was developed in 1953. Since then, there have been numerous innovations and upgrades made to give wheelchair users as much freedom and independence as possible. Unfortunately, there are still limitations leading to users getting stuck. Many of these limitations are due to restrictions imposed by urban planning – from deep cracks in sidewalks to large bumps separating sidewalks and roads. Even an ill-placed rock could obstruct a wheelchair.

Treker Mobility, LLC has designed an all-terrain wheelchair meant specifically to provide greater utility across any terrain. Their chair replaces traditional wheels with an all-terrain track using a continuous tread. The track has adaptable wheels and an actuator which controls the position of the adaptive wheel. By controlling this position, the amount of surface area contacting the terrain can be adjusted. 

If a wheelchair gets stuck in a groove, the user risks tipping the chair over when trying to free themselves. In Treker Mobility’s design, a balancing apparatus is deployed if the amount of surface area the track is in contact with decreases too significantly – such as when tipping over. This apparatus uses a stabilizing bar as well as a second track to ensure tipping over isn’t possible. 

Their design is still completely motorized and controllable. The user can adjust tilt, recline, foot rest position and more to optimize the center of gravity for their specific needs or as they transition between up and downhill. While significant advancements have been made in wheelchairs since 1916, Treker Mobility is committed to continuous innovation as they strive to provide independence and mobility to any wheelchair user.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

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