We often see new and exciting wheelchair designs either in the media or, if we’re lucky, in person! Here are a few of the innovative wheelchairs being developed or produced that you might have missed!
ICON Wheelchair: Canadian Paralympian Jeff Adams has teamed up with Christian Bagg to produce this great manual wheelchair, taking some of it’s design from mountain bike technolog. The ICON performs like a rigid frame chair, while being adjustable and modular – a combination we haven’t really seen before. I had the opportunity to play a bit with this chair, and the descriptions match the performance. A great concept – one well worth looking at.
WALTER: This Alternating Centre of Gravity wheelchair was presented at the RESNA conference in June. Originally designed for use in developing nations, WALTERs designers have hit upon a great need in producing a manual wheelchair that allows you to change the position of the seat with a simple mechanism. This mechanism lets you get a few inches closer to that table or desk, or even up to a higher switch or elevator button, without compromising safety. Perhaps most importantly, it moves your seat position forward of your drive wheels, for easier transfers or that steep ramp you need to get up. Even if you aren’t keen on the design of the frame, the seat mechanism is a another great concept that I hope makes it into the mainstream market.. check out WALTER Alternating Centre of Gravity Wheelchair. Here is the link to their RESNA submission.
WHILL Power chair (and power add-on): This last one came to me through the Assistive Technology Blog (I recommend subscribing to their updates). This new power chair challenges the static drive position we have traditionally used in power wheelchairs, and encourages more active movement for driving. Although I’ve yet to see this one in action – the specs are pretty impressive! Small turning radius, four wheel drive, multiple modes, compatibility with Varilite backrest mounting hardware and a sliding seat for easy transfers make it a pretty cool new take on the power chair. Another neat entry into the market that is worth following! Oh… did I mention they also have designed a power add on for a manual chair that does the same thing?? You can check out the power add on video here. WHILL Power Add On