Mike Stokes, who volunteers with the Utah Assistive Technology Program, partnered with us and Shaun Dahle, a physical therapist, to develop a therapeutic trike that can be built from furniture-grade PVC. Once the design was refined, several trikes went to families in the community that needed the therapeutic benefits for their children. UATP's Logan coordinator, Dan O'Crowley, went on to develop plans for building the trike and shared them on the Instructables website: www.instructables.com/PVC-Therapy-Trike. Diego Mendiola, UATP's VISTA member, also put together a how-to video for UATP's YouTube channel to help people build their own therapeutic trike: https://youtu.be/uAxFAUu_auY. The cost is many hundreds of dollars lower than it would be if purchased from a medical company, at about $500. Plans for this trike are now available on the Instructables website, and a video showing how the bike is built has been posted on YouTube, where it has more than 2,500 views.
From there, Stokes, the UATP fabrication lab, physical therapist Shaun Dahle, and a group of engineering students worked together to develop a metal therapeutic trike that could be made for hundreds of dollars less than one from a medical company. The team of students developed a trike as part of their senior project. UATP and Dahle continued to refine the project. Stokes worked with Utah State University's (USU) risk management to produce a waiver for families that wanted to use the trike, to protect USU from liability while the families used the equipment. A local family purchased a trike for the cost of materials to help with their son's therapy as he recovered from surgery. Input from the family went back to UATP for further design improvements.
For the PVC trikes, initially we hoped to make more trikes available to families for the cost of materials, but this was not practical with the time and staff we had available. It has been gratifying to see that over the last 8 months, the how-to video has been viewed 2,500 times on YouTube. Those who want to replicate this project should be able to do it fairly easily, as the instructions are made public.
For the metal trike, the design is still being refined; the family has given the team input as they have used it and it broke down on them once or twice. They understood they were part of developing the design and they were glad to receive an affordable trike. This initiative will continue. Eventually we would like to post instructions for building the metal therapeutic trike on Instructables, as we did with the smaller PVC trike.