Segway-based DEKA iBot Wheelchair by David Bulfin
Intended toward active paraplegics who live and work in urban and suburban environments, the “DEKA iBot” by designer David Bulfin is an innovative wheelchair designed to empower the disabled to live normally rather than rely on a wheelchair accessible infrastructure. Based on the Segway technology, the modular wheelchair gives the paraplegics the ability to sit, stand and scale over stairs with minimum fuss. The wheelchair automatically braces the body when moving to a standing posture. The mobility aid can change its form, climb stairs and glide on two wheels via linear induction.
Integrating a computing system that works with a home server through a bedside dock, the wheelchair becomes a lifestyle device, as it allows digital interaction to let the user handle GPS navigation, productivity, entertainment and communication through a multi-touch tablet stored under the seat. A biometric arm tag, located beneath the tablet, links the user to the chair. In case the user falls out of the chair, the chair can find and approach the user for assistance. The arm tag also acts as the wireless key for the device with basic remote control functionality.
The wheelchair lowers the four small omnidirectional wheels for indoor use, allowing low speed and high maneuverability around furniture and through doors. These wheels also prevent dirt and water on the main wheels from entering the home. The wheelchair also includes a storage compartment that opens to carry groceries or other cargo weighting up to 40lbs. Running on main wheels, the DEKA iBot wheelchair can reach a top speed of 10 mph.
Designer: David Bulfin | Source: Thedesignblog.org