Yesterday we took a look at a stunning new wheelchair concept that has the ability to climb stairs, but we probably won't see it hit the market for a while and it'll probably be really expensive. In the meantime, Yamaha has been working on a more practical solution that will make owning a powered wheelchair a lot more affordable.
Yamaha has come up with the JWX-2 power assist unit, which essentially turns any ordinary wheelchair into a powered wheelchair. Powered wheelchairs are extremely expensive, but the company says that their new power assist technology will be aimed at physically-disabled people who are on a budget.
Users will still have to manually control the wheels, but getting up slopes and just going long distances will be much easier. Plus, the unit can be attached to almost any regular wheelchair, which is one of the reasons why it's cheaper than powered wheelchairs. The unit also comes with computer software, where users can adjust settings and even fine-tune each wheel to different power adjustments.
There are buttons on the side the turn off and turn on the assist, and you can even control how much power the unit offers depending on if you come up to a steep slope or just a gentle one. No price has been given for Yamaha's JWX-2 power assist unit and it's still in its developing stages, but the company said that you should expect it to hit the market sometime in the spring of 2013.
[via DigInfo TV]