According to the University of California’s Disability Statistics Center, about 1.7 million people in the U.S. rely on wheelchairs or powered scooters to get around. These devices often have significant limitations that can restrict the mobility of the users, due to the inability to climb over obstacles, operate reliably on uneven or loose surfaces, or maneuver in tight spaces as are frequently found in real world settings such as restaurants or supermarkets.
The designers at WHILL have come up with a new vision for the powered wheelchair. Its futuristic design makes it clear that it’s not an ordinary device. A closer look reveals many unusual features. For example, the front and rear wheels are linked to provide additional traction on loose ground or gravel or snow. The front wheels are made up of 24 small rollers that provide great control for side to side movement, and allowing the chair to pivot in a very small space. It also has a companion app that allows you to control the chair remotely, summoning it when you want it. You can also use the app to control the seat position and put limits on speed and acceleration. You can even lock the device using the app.
The WHILL is available for sale now, and has a number of optional accessories such as cup holders and headlights. Designs like this can help people with physical disabilities be more active and engaged, and improve their quality of life.