STATES CHRONICLE – A new motorized iBot wheelchair is the project of a partnership between Toyota Motor North America and Deka Research and Development. The two companies have just signed a collaboration to create a new type of iBot wheelchair.
This wheelchair will be the second generation of iBot, a concept of mobility assistance for the physically impaired.
Deka is a company specializing in “creative solutions for modern problems;” with this new agreement the company can complete the developmental process for the next generation iBot wheelchair. The founder of Deka is Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway and a 2014 FDA-approved arm replacement mind-controlled prosthetic.
The agreement between Dean’s company and the Japanese corporation involves licensing balanced technologies held by Deka that Toyota will use for medical, rehabilitative treatments and probably other purposes.
The first concept of the wheelchair was marketed 16 years ago, but because of its prohibiting $25,000 price tag, the production was forced to cancel in 2009.
This new device comes with two sets of wheels that can operate in two configurations. Instead of the conventional design of two bigger wheels balanced by a smaller set, this novelty concept comes with two identical electric driven all-terrain built wheels. Another one of iBot’s motors raises the user at six feet height level, approximately 1.8 meters.
At the moment, even the most high-tech wheelchairs don’t have the technology Deka wants to build into the iBot wheelchair. Most wheelchairs on the market have issues with the rigid frame or the wheels that prevent users from having a relatively ordinary life. The majority of them also require home adjustments.
The Segway inventor wants to see its life-long dream become a reality with this new iBot wheelchair concept and eliminate all the issues the motorized wheelchairs have. Kamen says the collaboration with Toyota is the result of both companies sharing the same vision of “making mobility available” to as many people as possible.
The last decade has brought changes to our urban environments to adapt to the physically impaired, but we still have a long way to go to complete the challenges of those of us having a physically restricted lifestyle.
Dean’s dream of bringing the next generation high-tech iBot wheelchair to market might be the answer to the freedom and flexibility prayers of a lot of people.
Image Source: Wereblog