What is the ultimate freedom for those with lower limb disabilities bound to a wheelchair? A ride that not only helps get around with minimum external human assistance, but that allows one to stand up and sit down with similar convenience. Invaluable modifications have happened to the traditional wheelchair to reach closer to this dream of ultimate freedom.
Joysticks are used for maneuvering the wheelchair through obstacles and mechanics are to allow a wheelchair to rise from the usual sitting position to semi-standing freedom. Addressing this facet with an outstanding new approach is the Kim-e, a segway-styled wheelchair users can stand upright in just a matter of seconds.
Designer: Chronus Robotics
The brainchild of Chronus Robotics, a Lithuanian-based manufacturer, the Kim-e has been developed into a production model over four years of research, prototyping and perfecting. Unlike the traditional wheelchair, the Kim-e is instantly distinguishable with its two-wheeled design. There is no word on pricing or availability at the time of writing, presumably though, it should be out sometime later in the year. You can book a free test ride with Kim-e today.
Things are made ultra-convenient not just by the instant transformation of this wheelchair from sitting to standing in seconds, but more so by its hands-free functionality. Reportedly, Kim-e can be controlled by upper body movement to raise and lower the seat or glide the wheelchair through the crowd. And when you’re ready to hit the road, it can fold up to fit into the boot of your car for easy transportation.
Drawing its power from a lithium battery onboard, Kim-e can power up fully in four hours and travel up to 30 km on a single charge at a top speed of 20 km/h. This wheelchair, along with the built-in battery weighs 38 kg and has a payload bearing capacity of up to 90 kg. Kim-e may have a slightly lesser weight-carrying ability, but it is designed with safety in mind whether you use it in a traditional seated position at the work desk or while strolling upright with your friends in the mall.
Kim-e is equipped with a scissor-lift-type mechanism which allows the seat to raise enough to put the occupant at the eye-level of your companion. No more pushing or tugging. Let your friend/partner wall besides, while you maneuver the wheelchair on your off-road capable tires over sand, gravel or shallow water. At a semi-standing position, Kim-e straps the user’s thigh and even supports one to climb slopes of up to 20 degrees without breaking a sweat.