There are huge advances in wheelchair technology just around the corner, with some incredible and unusual innovations being developed.
A forward-thinking company has developed a floating beach wheelchair which enables people with disabilities to access soft terrains such as sand, grass, snow or gravel. Thanks to its floating armrests and oversized wheels, users can also safely float as a safety harness secures passengers when moving from sand to water.
The beauty of this innovation means that enjoying the beach, ocean, lakes, waterparks & pools is available to everyone and it is easily assembled and disassembled in less than a minute – without any tools.
Self-Drive Lidar Sensor Wheelchairs
After visiting a retirement community, a researcher from MIT began working on this project when they noticed there weren’t enough staff members on hand to help everyone in a wheelchair. Clearly there was the need to solve the problem and help people to move freely and easily without the need for assistance from a staff member.
So, engineered using the same principles as the self-drive car, the wheelchairs in development are equipped with three lidar sensors and are tested in the area in which they’ll be navigating – using the sensors to build a map of it. The sensors are also able to pick up moving objects that may appear in the way. The technology is very close to being usable – with a bit more engineering and after a few more obstacles have been overcome!
The All Mountain Wheelchair
As its name suggests, the all mountain wheelchair combines the qualities of a standard wheelchair with the agility and engineering to go just about anywhere. Going to the beach, on a hike and competing in sporting events will be made a whole lot easier in an all-terrain wheelchair – bringing independence and the opportunity to take part in previously difficult to enjoy activities.
This ground-breaking invention is being designed to enable severely paralyzed people to have independence and freedom. Researchers at the Singapore Republic Polytechnic School of Engineering have created an app that works with the iPhone. The wheelchair user wears a specialized headset that interprets brain signals and responds to the user’s thoughts. Wheelchair users will focus and think of an action or object such as moving towards something at which point the app senses the brain activity and moves the wheelchair towards the object. This is incredibly exciting technology which is moving ever closer.
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