The Chiba Robotic Wheelchair. Walking For The Disabled.
Published October 30, 2012
Greetings Everyone, today I would like to step away from the automotive world for a brief moment, and look into something different. For years now, we as people have either known, people who need wheelchairs, or just have seen people in wheelchairs around our neighborhoods. Sometimes depending on the situation you may find yourself extending a helping hand to a person in a wheelchair, just because the time, and the place called for it. Usually those instances come in the form of a flight of stairs, or some type of obstacle, that the person in the chair just can’t seem to get around. What if I told you that, there’s a new kind of chair that is currently under development, for just that purpose?
Well, it seems like modern science, coupled with some outside the box thinking, has created a new device for the disabled person to feel absolutely free to go where they want, and it is called the Chiba Robotic Wheelchair. For years scientists have been looking for way to make disabled transportation a lot easier for those who have to bear the brunt of uneven streets, and buildings with no available access ramps. Scooters, rubber treads, and other such devices have all had their fifteen minutes of fame, and then quickly failed. As much as people wanted these modes of transport to work, they all have had the same problem, at some point the rider, or the disabled person would most likely become unbalanced, and then fall out of the chair. This so something that was taken under heavy consideration when developing the Chiba Robotic Wheelchair.
The engineers based at the Chiba Institute of Technology figured out a way to make a wheelchair roll when it has to, but walk when it needs to. This at first was a very complicated problem to overcome, but the team pretty much pulled it off. The premise behind it all is, the chair is setup with an ECU that monitors the driver’s environment around him, and when he, or she comes to a point where rolling is not an option, the rubber wheels lock in place, and the legs of the chair lift, and begin walking. When you first see it, it looks a little creepy, but when you get close up on it, you start to be blown away by all of the intricate movements that are going with the chair itself. The chair’s programming allows for total balance, and safety of the rider who is controlling it, and oddly enough everything is controlled by the simple push of a joystick.
With the Chiba Robotic Wheelchair, the fear of tipping over, or falling backwards uncontrollably will be long gone. The self leveling technology allows this chair to give it’s rider in absolute piece of mind. Comfortable seating, ease of control, stability, and traction control, and to top it all off, you can now traverse a flight of stairs in your wheelchair. It’s almost unfathomable, when you think about it, but it looks like technology has scored another slam dunk for those in need. As it stands now the Chiba Robotic Wheelchair is still in it’s final developmental stages, and will still need to be approved for mass production. Hopefully this will be an item that the US will see in the immediate future, and will provide once again the opportunity of safety, reliability, and above all freedom.
Categories: Gear Grinding