Sometimes, design really does change lives. Dr. Amit Goffer previously designed ReWalk, a device that gives paraplegics paralyzed from the waste down mobility again. But 90 percent of handicapped people are unable to use it. In order to give quadriplegics a similar new lease on life, the Israeli designer made a few modifications with UPnRIDE.
“I have the benefit of being confined to a wheelchair so I tried to create the ultimate solution for the handicapped as I see it,” Dr. Goffer, who is working with RehaMed Technologies CEO Oren Tamari on the new product, told NoCamels.
“The person on the outside will see it as a Segway and not a wheelchair. For the younger generation of handicapped individuals, this is especially important.”
The upright wheelchair incorporates new balancing technology that allows even quadriplegics, who have no control over their bodies, to traverse a wide range of terrain with confidence. Imagine that – someone confined to a wheelchair now has the same kind of mobility that able-bodied people enjoy.
UPnRide allows users to maintain their center of gravity – whether they are sitting or standing, and a stabilized platform ensures vertical balance. If the user does fall at all, safety arms will immediately grab them and place them back in the mobile device very similar to a Segway.
While the design is a couple of years from market, Dr. Goffer expects a completed prototype of the pending patent within the next few months. And if it’s anything like the ReWalk, which just received U.S. FDA approval for home use, it’s bound to be a huge hit.