While traveling to 7-ELEVEN the other day, I noticed a group of people using wheelchairs. They were riding these funny-looking contraptions. The chairs had three wheels with the two big rear ones tilted. There are no back rests. I wonder why? These guys must be athletes because they have big upper bodies with bulging muscles. Being a self-confessed technology enthusiast, I was thinking maybe this is another area of innovation that should be investigated.
In the hospital, we always come across conventional wheelchairs. These have four wheels with two big rear ones and two front small ones. The big wheels have handles in them where a rider/user could grip and push for mobility. The backrests have handles where somebody could push a rider. These ones are very common in and around clinics and hospitals.
Arriving home, I made my research. Believing that every person should be given an opportunity to explore and be informed about technology, I used google search and read about them in the hope of sharing with you my readers and followers. I hope this will be educational and interesting to you as it did for me.
The first thing I looked for were the conventional wheelchairs. Conventional ones are basically chairs fitted with wheels. An assistant is required to push the rider around. These come in multiple forms and sizes but the basic features are all the same. The ones I saw at the grocery store are the sports variant. They do not have back rests because the rider leans forward for added strength in moving. They use these for races. It is like sprinting or running but using one’s arms to power the run or the sprint.
One that deserves checking out is the technology laden wheelchair produced by a start-up company called WHILL. Featured in CNN’s technology page, it is an innovative wheelchair that not only could goes forward and backward by itself, but could also be controlled to turn around 360 degrees. It could be controlled by a rider/user to go into tight places inside the home or the office. Being technology laden, it could be controlled using smart phones like the iPhone 6. The ergonomics and features are really cool. Designed by Japanese car engineers, these highly innovative tools are small four wheel-drive cars. Powered by chargeable batteries, the unique front wheels make it possible for it to turn around in the same place. The impact of this type of technology and innovation is what I want my readers to explore and understand.