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Posts Tagged ‘robo-chair’

Technology: Prototype Wheelchairs That Climb Stairs and More (Video)

This is a game-changer for people who use wheelchairs to get around. Japan’s Chiba Institute of Technology has developed a robotic wheelchair that negotiates obstacles by turning its wheels into legs and climbing over them.

Holes and gaps in the road, bumps, sidewalk curbs, and steps currently bar access to free travel for those in a traditional wheelchair. Turning around in small spaces is also a huge challenge. But Chiba’s chair will change that. More robot than mobility chair, the robo-chair can actually climb stairs and move safely over uneven surfaces and onto or down off curbs. In addition, it can retract and realign its wheels to make tight 360 degree turns, all with the twist of a joystick.

So, this model proves the robo-chair to be more than a concept; rather a prototype. Next up: A project to develop wheelchairs that help people reach and read items too far overhead for folks using mobility chairs of today.

Collaborators from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Taipei University of Technology, Yuan Ze University, National Tsing Hua University and National Cheng Kung University developed the i-Transport model wheel chair that can lift its passenger to a standing position. Other features of the wheelchair include:

  • A built-in microchip for monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and body temperature.
  • A touch screen with radio frequency identification technology that allows users to control home appliances and other electrical devices from their wheelchair.
  • Navigation software and obstacle detectors which allows users to enter the coordinates for frequently visited locations and change the routes upon request.

– Heather Fairchild,

Good tech. DAMN good tech!


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