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SmartDrive MX2 gives wheelchairs an electric boost

SmartDrive MX2 gives wheelchai...
The Smart-Drive MX2 is an electric drive unit designed to attach to an ordinary wheelchair and give a much needed boost whenever it's needed
The Smart-Drive MX2 is an electric drive unit designed to attach to an ordinary wheelchair and give a much needed boost whenever it's needed
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The unit has an anti-rollback feature, so that if you stop midway up a hill, the unit can get you going again without the threat of slipping backward.
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The unit has an anti-rollback feature, so that if you stop midway up a hill, the unit can get you going again without the threat of slipping backward.
The unit also has Bluetooth LE Drive Control to allow access from a smartphone
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The unit also has Bluetooth LE Drive Control to allow access from a smartphone
The SmartDrive MX2 is said by the makers to be compatible with most rigid and folding chair wheelchair styles
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The SmartDrive MX2 is said by the makers to be compatible with most rigid and folding chair wheelchair styles
Power is produced from a 250W brushless DC motor combined with a LiFePO4 36 V, 3.4 Ah battery, for a claimed 12 mile (19 km) range average
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Power is produced from a 250W brushless DC motor combined with a LiFePO4 36 V, 3.4 Ah battery, for a claimed 12 mile (19 km) range average
The Smart-Drive MX2 is an electric drive unit designed to attach to an ordinary wheelchair and give a much needed boost whenever it's needed
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The Smart-Drive MX2 is an electric drive unit designed to attach to an ordinary wheelchair and give a much needed boost whenever it's needed
Created with a push to go and tap to stop functionality, when attached to a chair the unit automatically engages when going forward and stops when the brake is tapped
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Created with a push to go and tap to stop functionality, when attached to a chair the unit automatically engages when going forward and stops when the brake is tapped
View gallery - 6 images

Even though fully-electric wheelchairs can do amazing things these days, like go off-road or climb stairs, they are still often too large and cumbersome for the average wheelchair user. The Smart-Drive MX2 provides a versatile alternative – it's an electric drive designed to attach to an ordinary wheelchair and give a boost up hills, over difficult surfaces, or whenever it's needed.

The MX2, which received FDA approval in August, is a lighter, simple version of the original model – the MX1. It features push to go and tap to stop functionality, so when attached to a chair it automatically engages when going forward and stops when the brake istapped. In this way, if the user wishes to go slowly, they push the chairwheels slowly. To go fast, just push fast; the SmartDrive maintainsthe speed of the chair based on the last speed set. The chair’s pushrims are used to turn while being pushedalong by the unit, similar tothe way they would be used to turn while going downhill.

The unit also has Bluetooth LE Drive Control to allow access from a smartphone
The unit also has Bluetooth LE Drive Control to allow access from a smartphone

Weighingin at around 12.5 lb (5.7 kg), the unit also has Bluetooth LE Drive Control to allowaccess from a smartphone for things like fitness tracking apps. Perhaps not as lightweight when combined with a standard chair as super-lightweight chairs like the Zinger, the unit is still very manageable – not much more than a heavy laptop and a couple of books, really.

Power is produced from a 250W brushless DC motorcombined with a LiFePO4 36 V, 3.4 Ah battery, for a claimed 12 mile (19 km) average range. The MX2 also has an anti-rollback feature, so that if you stopmidway up a hill, the unit can get you going again without the threat ofslipping backward.

The unit has an anti-rollback feature, so that if you stop midway up a hill, the unit can get you going again without the threat of slipping backward.
The unit has an anti-rollback feature, so that if you stop midway up a hill, the unit can get you going again without the threat of slipping backward.

According to its creators, the SmartDrive MX2 is easy to install and compatible with most rigid and folding chair wheelchairstyles, and it doesn't interfere with things like spinning on thespot, popping a wheelie, or launching off curbs.

The company doesn't list an official price for the Smart-Drive MX2, but expect to pay around the US$6000 mark.

The shortvideo below shows the Smart-Drive MX2 in action.

Source: Max Mobility

MAX Mobility - SmartDrive MX2 Overview 2015

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
Robert Walther
Six Thousand Dollars!?!? This must be from the same military contractor that sells hammers for $985.00.
Bruce H. Anderson
Ok the price is a little steep, since this is much like an add-on bicycle electric motor (Rubbee), except with a Rotacaster-type wheel driving the ground instead of a urethane wheel driving the tire. For comparison a Rubbee is around $1,200USD, and the go-e ONwheel is around $600USD. But since this is probably going to be charged to an insurance company or a governmental entity like the VA, it falls into the $985 hammer realm.
But beyond the wack price I think it is a REALLY good application.
Yorky
Unfortunately the drive interferes with a pusher's feet. This is very similar to an existing design.