Scalevo wheelchair uses retracting treads to go up and down stairs

Most public buildings around the US have ramps that allow those in wheelchairs or with mobility issues to get where they are going without having to use the stairs. At times, the issue for people bound to wheelchairs is that the ramps might be at different entrances to the building making it a hassle to get in and out. A new wheelchair has debuted called the Scalevo that makes it easy for wheelchair users to get up and down stairs.

This chair is very different looking than others on the market. It's rather like a version of the Segway scooter in that it balances on its two rear wheels when in use on flat ground. It has no front wheels making this a two-wheeler platform.

Using two wheels rather than four improves the agility of the wheelchair so it can make sharper turns. When the chair user gets to stairs, the retractable tank treads come down and the chair leans back to keep the user level while traversing the stairs.

The chair was designed by students from ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts specializing in electrical and mechanical engineering. The chair was designed for the students to participate in the Cybathlon, which is a race for disabled athletes using assistive devices. It's unclear if the technology will be commercialized.

SOURCE: Gizmag