DailyDirt: Advances In Wheelchair Technology
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
There are nearly 6 million people in the US living with some form of paralysis. Despite some controversy, the FDR memorial has a statue of the president sitting in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs have been around for over a hundred years, but technology could improve how they work. Here are just a few examples.
- The Tongue Drive System allows users to control their wheelchairs via tongue movements. This prototype requires a "clinical" tongue piercing and a dental retainer, so maybe a camera system would be a nice improvement. [url]
- Tek RMD is a robotic mobilization device that might replace a wheelchair and give paraplegics the ability to move around upright. It's not quite a powered exoskeleton, and it can't do stairs, but it's an interesting robotic alternative to a wheelchair (even though it costs a lot more). [url]
- A wheelchair from Kyoto University called the Permoveh has omnidirectional wheels, so it can move more freely and turn on a dime. The prototype has a top speed of 3.7 mph and costs over $36,000, but future models are expected to be cheaper. [url]