MIT Public Service Center

Improve quality control on the manufacturing line for the Leveraged Freedom Chair & develop a packaging system for overseas shipping

GRIT (Global Research Innovation and Technology),

Pinnacle Industries in Indore, India


GRIT was founded by the MIT alumni who designed the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). We were motivated by the 20 million people in developing countries who need a wheelchair and often end up confined to their homes because it is too difficult to travel with a regular wheelchair. The LFC uses a lever drivetrain made from bike parts to enable users to travel 75% faster on tarmac than a conventional wheelchair and off-road like no other mobility aid available. With the levers removed it transforms into a regular wheelchair for indoor use. The LFC empowers disabled people who would otherwise be excluded to access education, employment and community connections. We have begun manufacturing the LFC in India and are focusing our distribution efforts there first. We have a smaller pilot running in Haiti, and have previously worked in East Africa and Guatemala.

The Challenge

We need help establishing a standard quality control protocol for the manufacturing line of the LFC in India. We would like quality checkpoints built into the manufacturing process so that parts are being examined at the time of manufacturing, rather than after final assembly of the product. Additionally, as we begin to scale our operations and look to export wheelchairs from India to other countries, we need to figure out how the chairs are packed and packaged for shipment. How can we break down the product so it can be densely packed in a box, and how can we maximize the number of chairs we can fit in a shipping container?

We believe a motivated MIT student can help us address these issues and are looking to get a fresh perspective. As we are based in Boston, we would work with the student prior to their departure for India to catch him/her up-to-speed. And then we’d facilitate the start of the project in India. Working with us is a unique opportunity to work with a start-up social enterprise run by MIT alumni.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

We are looking for an engineering student who has experience with manufacturing, particularly metal work. The student will not be directly cutting, welding, etc., but should feel comfortable being in a machine shop and assessing the quality of production. Solid modeling skills are required.  The student must be able to understand and generate quality 2D drawings, including specifying dimensions and tolerances.  Knowledge of statistical process control is desirable but not required. 

No language skills are required, but knowledge of Hindi is desirable.

Time Constraints

Contact Tish for more information.


Tish Scolnik
Executive Director
One Broadway 14th Floor, Cambridge, MA  02142

MIT Public Service Center
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