Kenji Suzuki, a Japenese innovator, former teacher, and head of Tess Co., has developed a pedal-powered wheelchair, the first of its kind on the Japenese market. The new chair could mean big changes for people who use wheelchairs and especially for students with disabilities.
Suzuki first developed the pedal-powered Cogy wheelchair at Japan’s Tohoku University. In addition to the new wheelchair, the Japanese innovator also founded his very own wheelchair-focused company.
The making of Japan’s first pedal-powered wheelchair
Suzuki first had the idea for this brilliant wheelchair idea while teaching. During class, he noticed something about one of his students who suffered from a health condition that left the student unable to walk. The student was reportedly keen to take part in all the school activities but was experiencing difficulties and unnecessary obstacles with their wheelchair.
Inspired by the student with disabilities, the former teacher has decided to develop wheelchair technology that will help increase mobility for people with limited mobility. Suzuki created his first wheelchair product with a strong focus on helping people improve mobility rather than focusing on the degree of comfort. It allows users to use momentum to drive their wheelchair. The Japanese teacher even made a huge claim that his Cogy wheelchair could help people recover from fatal accidents or severe health conditions which have left them unable to walk.
Many people are skeptics of the Cogy wheelchair technology because of its ambitious promise to help injured people recover from their traumatic injuries and illnesses. But after months of showcasing and product demos, many people are convinced of the wheelchair’s ability to help people with disabilities.
The pedal-powered Cogy wheelchair is now available in two adult sizes: medium and large. In addition to two adult-sized wheelchairs, there’s also a children’s version of the wheelchair product available.
The new wheelchair costs around ¥329,000 ($2,900). Suzuki’s company has already sold over 6,000 Cogy wheelchairs in the Japan market. Suzuki aims to sell around 10,000 Cogy wheelchairs a year and has recently announced plans to expand abroad.
Image credit: Alaa Elnady/Youtube screencap