Hockey Cart

Designers: Melissa Kim, Daniel Oh, Nick Pignotti, Kevin Predmore

Client Coordinators: Courtney Wallace, Rom Alphin

Supervising Professor: Larry Bohs


Figure 1. Hockey Cart.

Figure 1. Hockey Cart.


The client is a former collegiate hockey player who has limited vision and left-sided paralysis from an accident. The goal of this project was to design a device to allow him to enjoy playing hockey on a hard surface. The Hockey Cart is made from a PVC frame with a padded seat.  An adjustable handle allows an assistant to push the cart while the client indicates the direction of motion using two pushbutton foot switches, which actuate appropriate directional lights. The low profile of the cart and seat harness keep the client safe while he hits the puck or ball with a custom stick.

The client has an ice hockey sled, but rarely travels to the rink because it is far away.  The Hockey Cart allows him to enjoy hockey more regularly, since he can play in the parking lot or gym at his residence. The client’s therapist commented, “The sled has been great …it has really given him a new avenue to get back into the sport that he loves so much.  For someone that is so physically impaired, having this adaptive device has given a chance to experience the sport he loves in a new way.”

The Hockey Cart (Figure 1) comprises a frame, seat with harness, and direction signaling system. The frame is made of 1 ¼” diameter PVC, with a wide section in the rear and a narrow section in the front.  The narrow section comprises the front wheels, footrest, heel rest, plywood support, and the direction signaling system. The wide section comprises the back wheels, plywood base, seat, harness, aluminum braces and  handles.

The wide section is 19.5” wide x 34” long, with base of ¾” plywood., to which the rear wheels and seat attach. The rear wheels are rigid plate caster wheels, 5” in diameter. The seat is a 16” wide x 15” long x 22” tall commercial boat seat. An adjustable four-strap seatbelt harness mounts to the seat to hold the client securely, as he has limited trunk support.   A vertical handle, made of 1” PVC, telescopes into to the rear of the wide section, allowing variations in height of the assistant handle via removable locking pins. Resulting handle heights are 36”, 42” or 48”.  Two ¼” thick, 3” wide aluminum braces attach between the base and handle for rigidity.


The narrow section of the PVC frame is 11.5” wide x 38” long, supporting the footrest, heel rest, and the front wheels. The front wheels are swivel stem casters, 4” in diameter. The footrest is made of ½” thick high- density polyethylene (HDPE), 11” wide x 6” long, providing support for the client’s feet. Because the heel rest mounts below the PVC frame, the frame itself provides a secure location for his feet. An additional ¾” plywood support, mounted below the narrow section, provides rigidity to the structure and prevents the client’s legs from touching the floor.


The direction signaling system mounts to the footrest. The system allows the client, who has difficulty speaking, to signal the direction in which he wants the assistant to turn. Two large pushbutton switches mount to the face, actuating large LED lights when pushed with the client’s more dexterous right foot. The front-most section of the footrest removes with two screws, allowing the two C-size batteries that power the signaling system to be easily replaced.  Battery life is estimated at five months, assuming a hockey session every two days with LED’s lit for 30 minutes per session.


Figure 2. Client using the Hockey Cart.

Figure 2. Client using the Hockey Cart.

Figure 2 shows the client using the Hockey Cart. The cost of parts is approximately $400.

Comments are closed.