Students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University of the Arts have developed the Scalevo Wheelchair that helps wheelchair bound individuals scale stairs with ease.
A closer look at the Scalevo Wheelchair
The team’s custom-built wheelchair comes with a pair of treads and two sets of wheels that work together to provide wheelchair bound individuals the ability to climb stairs as comfortably as possible.
The Scalevo Wheelchair is electric powered and balances on two wheels when cruising around on flat ground. When confronted by a flight of steps, the Scalevo releases two smaller wheels that help guide a pair of treads to grab and grip the stairs for scaling. To help make the stair climbing experience smoother, the Scalevo Wheelchair is able to adjust the angle of the rider’s resting state, keeping them level the entire time. When the wheelchair reaches the top, the treads and smaller wheels reorient themselves to help the user transition safely back onto flat ground without any bumps or jostles. The Scalevo is also fitted with front and rear lights for safety and, well, because it looks cool.
The Scalero Wheelchair was originally a student summer project that has now grown to include 10 electrical engineering and industrial design students. Their design is inspired by the Segway that incorporates automated balancing technology.
The team’s next goal is to feature the Scalero Wheelchair at next year’s Cybathlon, a race where individuals with disabilities use a variety of assistive technology to compete, like exoskeleton suites and electrically stimulated muscles.
Overall, wheelchair technology continues to advance, and there are several competing prototypes that provide users the ability to overcome obstacles that previously posed too much of an obstacle for traditional wheelchairs to overcome. Let’s hope the Scalero Wheelchair, and others like it, are brought to market as quickly as possible.