A new prototype unveiled by students in Switzerland may finally have conquered the obstacle of stairs for wheelchair users.
The 10 Swiss mechanical and engineering students unveiled the unique ‘Scalevo’ electric wheelchair last year, which can tackle and climb stairs by using rubber tracks between the two wheels. It also features extra wheels in the back of the chair which can lift users up.
The team, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University of the Arts, aimed to develop a “powered wheelchair which meets the demands of daily use and has the ability to climb and descend stairs safely without external help or additional devices”.
And looking at this video, they’ve done a pretty good job!
Unfortunately, the tank-like wheelchair won’t be on the market any time soon.
The team’s work was done over the course of just a few months and was simply intended to be a proof of their concept. They now plan to have their design refined and ready for the Cybathlon Challenge for Robot-Assisted Parathletes in October 2016.
If a product like this was fully developed and on the market in the future though, it could be a game changer for wheelchair users everywhere!