People with disabilities dream of independent movement in the first place. And this opportunity is given to them by a new German development – stair-climbing wheelchair, for which there are no obstacles.
Sometimes happens that nature or circumstances limit a person’s physical abilities. Thus, wheelchair users in any country must have special living conditions to feel comfortable. But, unfortunately, even in modern cities, these people can not always count on special conditions.
Climbing wheelchairs are already produced in the world, which can drive on the road and feel confident in the woods on rough terrain. It is more important for a person with disabilities to climb the stairs of their home or store.
That’s why a group of German students from the University of Zurich created the Scalevo wheelchairs that climb stairs, which includes a caterpillar track to help you overcome the steps on your own. Both climbing and descending.
Scalevo rides a pair of wheels on the smooth ground, which are much more comfortable than conventional wheelchairs, as they allow you to turn even at speed and smoothly enter the corner. And when an obstacle in the form of a ladder gets in the way, the rubber tracks are manually operated. With the help of gyroscopes and stabilizers, the system detects the position of a person’s body and does not allow him to bend too hard, compensating for the angle of inclination.
When the wheelchair overcomes a dangerous ledge, and the angle between the surface and the caterpillars grows strongly, the wheelchair lowers the special “legs” that will protect the person.
The maximum speed of the electric stair climbing wheelchair on asphalt is 10 km\h. The user can control a wheelchair with a few buttons and a joystick. The backrest and armrests are adjustable. The most crucial advantage of Scalevo is that it increases the level of independence of people with disabilities.
You can see the wheelchair in action in the video below. Although it is still climbing the stairs rather slowly, the team hopes to eventually bring the chair’s speed to one step per second.
Another electric wheelchair stair climber created by Dean Kamen was aimed at helping people with disabilities to overcome obstacles. The iBot was first introduced in 2001 and provided disabled people with the ability to climb stairs and move around at a fairly fast pace. Another advantage was the ability to climb to the eye level, which allows the user to increase his or her visibility. Unfortunately, such a device costs more than 20 thousand dollars, which is quite a lot for the mass of people on the market. Due to this problem, the company stopped the development in 2009, but the car manufacturer Toyota decided to contribute to help people with disabilities.
Together with the company Kamen DEKA, Toyota has supported the development of mobile solutions for people with disabilities. They have created an updated version of the original iBot, which has the same compliment. The company aims to use years of technology development to create an even more advanced look at the stair-climbing wheelchair.
We hope that there will be more solutions for people with disabilities in the world that everyone can afford. If one of your loved ones finds himself or herself in such a situation, it is in your power to help them to make life easier and make them feel independent. Buying such a device can improve the quality of life and make people happier. We will keep an eye on new technologies and innovations in the world that can help people with disabilities to feel better, as this topic is very crucial for us.
Read also our review of the most advanced prosthetic arms.