DVNF Grantee, Dr. Rory Cooper, Seeks to Develop Pneumatic-Powered Wheelchairs

Doctors Rory Cooper and Garrett G. Grindle, along with Brandon Daveler and Benjamin Gebrosky conducted a research study to determine the feasibility of using pneumatic power in wheelchairs.

Dr. Cooper is the Director of Human Engineering Research Laboratories and is one of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation’s grant recipients. HERL designed and developed the pneumatic wheelchair, called the PneuChair.

Cooper and his colleagues determined the pneumatic wheelchair, was a lighter, waterproof, and reliable energy source for a wheelchair. One of the advantages to this chair is that it can be fully recharged in as little as 10 minutes. The Pneuchair is also approximately 55 lbs. lighter than similar electric-powered wheelchairs.

The Pneuchair is still in a prototype and testing phase, but the initial testing showed the device has advantages in locations where its weight and quick charging capabilities would be useful.

You can read the full study here.  Development of the Pneuchair: Pneumatic Powered Wheelchair


The PneuChair prototype, designed and developed by Human Engineering Research Laboratories, was unveiled April 7, 2018 at an event in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo courtesy of HERL)