The founder of Revolve Air, Andrea Mocellin, has developed a foldable wheelchair the size of which is reduced by 60% when compact, and can fit into the overhead baggage compartment of an airliner – yet is full-size when unfolded.
According to Revolve-Wheel’s website, Revolve Air ‘aims to be the first active wheelchair certified as carry on luggage for national and international flights.’
Likewise, it could be used as carry-on luggage for other methods of transport such as buses and trains as well as fitting into the boot of taxis and cars.
Based around a central hub, the spokes are replaced by 6, foldable aluminium structures split into 6 interlocking sections which are each wrapped in a foam-filled tyre.
When the wheelchair is in use, the hub’s locking mechanism maintains the shape of a standard wheel but for storage, releasing the mechanism allows both sides of the hub to separate – which enables the spokes and rim to fold down and be stored in between the two sides of the hub.
The wheelchair’s two 24-inch wheels are joined side-by-side along a shared axle. When the wheelchair is folded, a capsule-like module incorporates them both. If using the chair, the capsule module is removed, and the wheels open which is followed by the capsule being placed back onto the axle, thus acting as the seat and backrest. The small front wheels are housed on a contracting frame which can then be pulled out from underneath the capsule seat.
2022 is the estimated date for testing and certification of the prototypes and the first production models are expected to cost around £1750. There may also be a market for users to rent the chairs at railway and bus stations as well as airports.
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