A 'cool' solution to a hot problem

By Mellany Armstrong 11:05am, November 29, 2012
Personal illness spawns a creative solution to a hot problem.

Chuck Spinelli was sitting in his wheelchair back in May 2010 on the boardwalk at the beach.

"I kind of got an epiphany as a convoy of wheelchairs, oddly enough, passed right by me as I'm looking out into the ocean," he said.

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The Ardmore, Pa., inventor, who has Parkinson's disease, came up with something he calls the 'Comfort Canopy.'

"There are so many people in the world who need a chair for their existence just to get around, and cannot remove themselves from the chair, what do they do in event of these temperatures? And that's how it came about, I went home, made a few drawings," he said.

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So, how does it work?

"You strap it to the back of the chair. It comes up over the head., and it shields the user from direct sunlight and maybe even a little light rain."

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"It has various heights available with telescoping vertical supports to accommodate all size individuals," he said.

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And it has a built-in solar-powered fan.

"Hit the button, a little blast of cool as you're rolling along, powered by the sun. It's a nice little touch," he said.

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Spinelli says manufacturers are looking at his idea. He says it can also be used on strollers.

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