Küschall makes Superstar wheelchair light and strong with some help from graphene
Graphene – the "wonder material" that's stronger than steel and tougher than diamond – has recently found its way into experimental aircraft, clothing and concrete. And now Swiss wheelchair veteran Küschall has announced the Superstar, the first wheelchair to be built using the one atom thick form of carbon.
Küschall says that the Superstar has been developed using computer-aided design tools and will be produced in partnership with Formula 1 manufacturers, with each customer getting a tailor-made model to ensure a perfect fit. The company boasts that it will be 30 percent lighter yet 20 percent tougher than classic carbon wheelchairs.
"Superb power transfer through the entire frame will mean the Superstar responds rapidly with every movement, combined with impressive road dampening properties, the Superstar will provide an effortless glide anywhere you go," the company said in a press release.
Its X-shaped geometry is said to result in increased performance and direct drive, while promoting the correct user posture for increased efficiency and helping reduce the risk of upper body injuries.
There's an integrated seat cushion and a bespoke backrest that can be adjusted without needing to raid the toolbox. On either side of the footplate and to the rear of the mono post is an LED light built into the frame, which tips the scales at under 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), and mudguards will help shield the user from whatever the wheels throw up.
As of writing, there's no word on when production is due to begin, or how much the Superstar will cost. The promo video below has more.