Most conventional wheelchairs are not able to tackle stairs and thus, users find it difficult to enter buildings that do not have a ramp which is purposely built to faciliate wheelchair bound persons. However, iBOT tackles stairs easily through utilizing gyroscopes and adjusts to the driver’s center of gravity, rotating wheels up and over each other through the perfect coordinated commands of the computers inside it.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
U0308345 Ng Sing Joo Assistive technology (AT), the field of innovations that removes barriers or bypasses impediments for people with disabilities, can be applied to assist people in accomplish daily tasks around the home or in a vocational setting. The revolutionary iBOT Mobility System which has a combination of features unlike any wheelchair ever created, is one excellent example of this assistive technology. The iBOT can easily power across sand, gravel or uneven terrain, climb stairs and curbs, rise to an "eye-level" position and hold a conversion, even when you are on the move.
The core of the iBot Mobility system is the patented iBalance Technology which is an integrated combination of sensor and software components and multiple computers that work in conjunction with gyroscopes. Gyroscopes are motion sensors that help maintain balance. When the gyroscopes sense movement, a signal is sent to the computers which in turn will then process the information and tell the motors how to move the wheels to maintain stability. The iBOT Mobility System constantly realigns and adjusts its wheel position and seat orientation to keep the user upright and stable at all times, even when driving up and down curbs or inclines. In addition, the iBOT® includes built-in triple redundant backup systems, as well as auditory and visual signals to provide even more safety and assurance.
While most conventional motorized wheelchairs can only travel on even surfaces, the iBOT® Mobility System powerful 4-Wheel Function allow travelling even on uneven terrain, such as grass, sand, or gravel, as well as climb curbs up to 5 inches high. This allows the user to be self independent when travelling from point to point without needing help from others.
Peolple in wheel chair has to constantly strain their necks when talking to people in order to maintain eye contact due to different levels in height. They also face the problems of not being able to reach for objects that are place high onto the cupboards or shelfs. The iBOT Mobility system solves all these inconvenieces easily. The Balance Function of the iBOT can raise the user to eye level for any number of business or social interactions, even when on the move. It lets the user see over counters, and reach a high shelf in the office, kitchen or supermarket, safely and easily.
My opinion is that at the moment, this type of wheelchair would be extremely expensive and may not be affordable to the majority. However, there is still a possibilty that the through mass-produce, the product price will fall to relatively affordable levels. Thus, there are still some major issues to solve, such as costs and reliability, before these robotic wheelchairs become widely available to the masses.