UC grad launches workout machine for people with disabilities

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) — People may not have heard of West Chester native Ryan Eder but the design and inventing world has.

A few years ago, his senior project at the University of Cincinnati won an international design competition that was won the next year by a little thing called the iPhone. Since then, Eder’s been working out the bugs on his invention and last week he rolled it out.

In a trailer turned showroom parked on the UC campus is Ryan Eder’s life work. Sparked by a trip to a west side gym where a man in a wheelchair was struggling with the machines.

“I called 200 clubs and told them I was a wheelchair user looking to work out and asked, ‘What do you have?’ And 94% of them didn’t have anything,” said Eder.

So the industrial design student solved that problem with his senior thesis that led to this: Access Strength. It’s a one-stop workout platform for everyone regardless of their ability. It is wheelchair friendly, people can adjust everything with one arm and a closed fist, even setting the weights is hands free.

“You can have someone with no dexterity whatsoever and they are still able to adjust the entire machine,” Eder said.

Adjust it and put it to use. It is cloud-based, so a physical therapist can upload a workout program for a specific client. Eder debuted Access Strength at UC’s DAAP Works. His presentation was sandwiched between presentations by Google and Boeing.

Monday, May 4k, he parked his machine on Fountain Square. City councilman Kevin Flynn paid a visit and put the Access Strength through its paces. Russ Clark, who lost his legs to a land mine in Vietnam, said he’s tried working out on conventional gym equipment and couldn’t make it work.

“When you go to a gym you got to go to each station. What I found doing that was people got their stuff lying on the floor, they’re clogging up the aisle. A lot of times the transfer onto a seat or whatever is a real pain in the rear,” said Clark

Eder has been working on the Access Strength for eight years. A 2008 CincyTech Imagining Grant helped him along. He said include fitness and the Access Strength are proof people don’t have to be on one of the coasts to create a company.

“With organizations like CincyTech, Centrifuse, the Brandery and Ocean and just all the support around here we’re building something great. And I think this is just the beginning of that. Our hope is that we build this company and we can give back to that same ecosystem and help other companies launch,” said Eder.

He hopes to start building machines in West Chester in time for fall delivery. Eder said the machines will be built by MiQ Partners off Union Centre Boulevard.

People can check out the Access Strength Tuesday through Thursday outside the Freedom Center. Eder will have his mobile showroom outside Children’s Hospital Friday, May 8.

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