An engineer from the UK has invented a super-wheelchair. Dan Kamen’s revolutionary new chair not only has four-wheel-drive, it can be transformed at the press of a button. The new chair, named the iBOT® 4000 enables the user the climb stairs, stand up and travel effortlessly over curbs when required.
The iBOT® 4000 has all the standard functions a user would expect from a normal wheelchair, and then some! ‘Balance-Function’ enables the user to move into a standing position. In addition, singled-handed negotiation of stairs and curbs need no longer be a problem for the wheelchair user thanks to Kamen’s sophisticated technology.
The chair also incorporates a folding system that allows the user to take the iBOT® 4000 with them in their car, meaning that total independence is guaranteed.
Unfortunately, the iBOT® 4000 is not suitable for everyone. In order to ensure that the user remains safe in the chair, certain criteria must be fulfilled.
- The user’s maximum bodyweight should be no less than 34kg/75lbs, and not more than 113kg/250lbs.
- The user must have sufficient sensory ability to be able to operate the joy-stick control unit and operate a push button.
- The user should be able to bend their knees in order to place their feet on the foot rests, although this doesn’t apply for lower leg amputees.
- The user should have sufficient hip movement to allow them to comfortably remain in a seated position.
- People who suffer from osteoporosis or brittle bone disease would not be able to use the iBOT® 4000.
Before a user is allowed to actually purchase the iBOT® 4000, they must undergo a medical examination and a discussion with a doctor to ensure that the chair will be suitable for them. Following this, special driving training is required and this concludes with an actual test! Provided the user fulfils all the criteria, and successfully passes the driving test, they can take the iBOT® 4000 home.
Unfortunately, a further problem for would-be iBOT® 4000 owners is its price. Different specifications are available, and depending upon what particular bells and whistles you choose, this super-wheelchair will set you back somewhere between $25,000 and $29,000 USD.
The iBOT® 4000 certainly offers the wheelchair user some wonderful functionality – at a price. It’s to be hoped that in the future many of the iBOT® 4000’s features will be included as standard in every design of wheelchair so that everyone can benefit from them.
Image source: elitechoice.org