The wheelchair that stands-up, balances and can climb stairs
Dean Kamen is best known for Project ginger and the Segway but to many people on the planet his most significant contribution has been the iBOT Mobility System which was introduced in 2003 – using a unique combination of electronics, sensors and software, the iBOT allows users to raise themselves to eye level, climb stairs and gives people with disabilities a greater sense of independence and freedom to go where they want to go. This week Independence Technology, the company that manufactures and markets the iBot, introduced the next generation of the revolutionary mobility system - the iBOT 4000 offers a number of significant enhancements over the original iBOT 3000 model.
In response to customer and health care professional input, the iBOT 4000 offers users a number of enhanced features:
- The iBOT 4000 model has a lower floor to seat height, allowing the user to maneuver more easily when seated at a table or desk
- The iBOT 4000 model allows the user to occupy the Mobility System while it is being transported in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle
- The power button has been repositioned to make it more accessible to the user
- The iBOT 4000 has swing-away footrests, easing entry and exit from the Mobility System.
- The iBOT 4000 features enhanced drive performance, providing users with a smoother and quieter ride.
- The iBOT 4000 features a choice of two seats: a rehab seat and an automotive seat.
Since its introduction to the marketplace, the iBOT 3000 has provided people with disabilities with a new perspective on their lives. The iBOT Mobility System's patented gyroscope technology enables users to carry on eye-to-eye conversations with friends and family as they operate the Mobility System, while in the seated position. The technology also gives users the independence to climb stairs with or without assistance and allows them to move through many types of terrain.
Independence Technology is working to make this groundbreaking prescription product widely available to those with disabilities. After completing a screening evaluation, customers can test-drive the iBOT 4000 at various locations throughout the U.S. and U.K. The iBOT is a prescription product and requires an assessment by a health care professional at an iBOT Evaluation Center. The staff at these facilities has received extensive training in order to prepare the facility or clinic to prescribe the device.
The iBOT Mobility System may not be suitable for everyone. U.S. consumers interested in test-driving the iBOT 4000 should visit the iBOT web site.