Robotic wheelchair concept provides leg-like movements, climbs stairs

Considering how much of an asset wheelchairs can be for the physically disabled, they still have some pretty substantial limitations — the biggest being the inability to climb stairs. Most public places have elevators, but sadly they're not available everywhere. A new wheelchair concept, however, has the ability to climb stairs and perform other leg-like movements.

Engineers from the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan have come up with a robotic wheelchair concept that gives physically-disabled individuals the ability to climb stairs without moving a single leg muscle. The wheelchair has five axes that it moves on. This allows the wheelchair to lift up off the ground and move in a walking fashion.

It can climb steps and move around various obstacles whilst remaining surprisingly stable. It can even turn 360 degrees around its center. The wheelchair also has a ton of sensors that detect incoming obstructions and automatically deals with them as they come, and if the sensors fail, wheel torque can be automatically adjusted to act as a backup.

The video shows the robotic wheelchair in action, and we have to say that it looks extremely advanced for just being a concept. Hopefully, this is just the beginning and we'll see the wheelchair gain even more features in the future. The designer wants a lot of people to try it so that he can fine-tune the wheelchair as much as possible.

[via TechHive]