Introducing wheelchairs of the future! Based on the same technology as the Hoverboard and Segway, this new top-of-the-line wheelchair is designed to move with your core. Like the Segway, the chair moves when the built in sensors identify movement from your body. Moving forwards, backwards and side to side, your body will initiate the movement of the chair in the direction desired. New Zealand inventor Kevin Halsall created the chair for a good friend who became paralyzed after a skiing accident. Halsall recognized the daily struggles his friend was having from using his hands to move his chair.
After using a Segway himself, Halsall came up with the idea of adding a seat to the design. He had a vision of using the same technology as the Segway but adapting it to meet the needs of someone using a wheelchair.
As I spend the majority of my time working with individuals with different ambulatory issues, I often try to deter them from using a power chair. I feel they can become lazy and weak if they don’t use their arms to get around just like an able body would use their legs. However, I can also understand that using the arms on a daily basis can cause daily struggles as well. Our arms were not designed to have the constant strain of pushing a chair and this strain can result in shoulder problems in the future. Having to push to move yourself from place to place can also limit your ability to lift and carry items that would generally be held in your hands. Due to these reasons I can definitely see a need for this type of chair and what a great core exercise it would be!
The Ogo is now its third prototype phase and only requires a few more tweaks as well as an increased interest from financial investors to help launch it onto the market. The sleek design is able to move up to 20km per hour and has the ability to change from a daily chair to an off road monster chair. The bigger tires allow the user to navigate difficult terrain as well as the ability to cruise over soft sand (definitely a necessity in New Zealand)!
Take a look at the way this hands free chair works:
Would you use the Ogo? Comment below with your opinions.