Electric wheelchairs have risen in popularity over the years, but many still prefer manual chairs. And it’s not necessarily because of money.
Sure, electric wheelchairs cost more than a standard wheelchair does, but that’s not the only reason why people skip over them.
Electric wheelchairs are heavy, they don’t collapse, they have more difficultly going over obstacles, and for those who like a little speed, they don’t go as fast. Not to mention the fact that with a manual wheelchair, you never have to worry about running out of power.
But what if you could have both? What if you could turn your old school wheelchair into a self-propelled piece of technology on a whim?
Thanks to some clever Japanese engineers, you might be able to do just that.
Old School Meets New
A Japanese company called Whill has developed a device that attaches directly to your wheelchair, transforming it into an electric wheelchair in mere moments. All you do is wheel up to the device, secure each site to your wheels, press a button, and go.
Not only is it incredibly easy and convenient, but the device looks really awesome. While you might have some trouble getting it into the driver’s position of a Rollx Van, it can get you most other places.
The product isn’t on the market yet, but Whill just raised $1 million through 500 Startups and a few other investors. In addition to the wheelchair attachment, they are currently producing a very similar looking electric mobility chair.
While you might not be able to try out the chair just yet, you can click the video below to see it in action. It’s a little loud during the docking process and the base is a little wide, but remember, it’s still just a concept. Also note that this is for periods of short term use, not as a permanent fixture to your chair. If you have any feedback, I’m sure Whill is opening to hear it.
Whill is a Japanese company that was formed to provide mobility solutions for the elderly and those with disabilities. Staff includes high level designers and engineers from Nissan, Sony, and more. If you would like to find out more about them, you can visit their website here.
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Or is it more trouble than it’s worth?