Innovation That Matters

New electric wheelchair can tackle stairs and uneven terrain

Sport & Fitness

Scewo, the creators of the wheelchair, are crowdfunding for the project to build more prototypes and launch a marketable model in 2018.

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Scewo, a team of master’s students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the Zurich University of Arts, have created a two-wheeled electric wheelchair that can climb stairs. The chair uses large wheels to drive around and is operated with an active control to keep the chair level at all times.

The wheels allow the chair to overcome obstacles such as curbs, tram tracks, grass, stones and mud, and it can also change direction when stationary. The user can climb stairs while sitting in the wheelchair by sitting backwards, as the tracks adapt to the angle of the stairs automatically and keeps the user level.

The first prototype was created in June 2015 as part of a university project, which has now developed into a functioning trial machine. The team of designers and engineers hope to create a marketable model by December 2018 when their studies are complete, and are currently crowdfunding on Patreon to help with its creation.

Mobility options and assistance for wheelchair users is on the up, with inventions such as the all-terrain wheelchair that was created for use in developing countries, and a new website that allows those with disabilities to rate services based on how good they are for the disabled. What will be the next technology breakthrough to help those with disabilities?

Image courtesy of Scewo



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