Reinventing the Wheel(chair): Wheelchair Climbs Stairs

Galileo wheelchair wheels going up stairs

Although accommodations for wheelchair-bound people have been improved by the Americans with Disabilities Act and other initiatives, there are still many places around the world that just aren’t able to accommodate wheelchairs. Not to mention the difficulty that handicapped people can encounter with curbs, rough terrain and reaching items from high shelves.

galileo mobility wheelchair

Out of the many proposed solutions for this particular set of needs, the Galileo Mobility Wheelchair may be the most promising. Galileo is known for its innovative wheel design, which turns into tank-like tracks when needed. The tracks can traverse sand, gravel, and even ruts in the ground. The wheelchair itself is able to elevate the user to a standing position, lower the user down to the ground, and climb stairs easily. It allows the rider to get into and out of cars without special modifications to the vehicle.

Other similar solutions have been far too expensive for most potential users, but Galileo hopes to offer their chair at a price similar to other powered wheelchairs. Though it’s not yet in production, a product like this has the potential to positively impact a huge number of lives. The technology used for the wheel-to-track conversion is ingenious and, based on the other products on their site, very versatile.

submit to reddit
See more in Robotics or under Technology. October, 2009.