iBOT: new type of wheelchair

August 24, 2007

For people who use wheelchairs, even the tiniest bump or step can seem like an imposing barrier. Curbs without a curb ramp? Forget it. A step along the sidewalk? Impossible. A walk along a trail that has some bumps and dips? May as well scale Mt. Everest. High service counters? Neck-crick time.

iBot 4000 Mobility SystemPerhaps not anymore. There’s a new type of power wheelchair designed to give persons with disabilities yet more independence — the Independence iBOT 4000 Mobility System.

With the iBOT 4000, persons who use wheelchairs would be able to:

Impressive list of features. At 289 pounds (unladen), it’s not exactly lightweight stuff. But with remote control and its ability to transverse uneven terrains and steps, that seems to be a fair trade-off.

I should note that the stair-climbing feature has some limitations. The person using it would need to have at least one railing to hold on if using this independently to climb stairs, or have a person assist. I took several snapshots of a video showing how this stair-climbing feature works:

iBOT steps 1

iBOT steps 2

iBOT Steps 3

Thoughts? Concerns? Observations? Share with us in the comments, willya!


3 Responses to “iBOT: new type of wheelchair”

  1. QueenAlpo Says:

    Oh, that is neat stuff. The stair part, especially. Even with the limitations, it’s better than having to go all the way around to some hidden entrance or needing people to lift you. I can vouch for the embarrassment that causes! Now, cost? How do people pay for these things, anyway?

  2. proudgeek Says:

    Oh, I totally forgot to look up the cost! According to the FAQ on the iBOT website, the unit costs $25,100. Still cheaper than a cochlear implant, but a whole heckuva lot more than hearing aids! But apparently there are lots of options for reimbursement — via private insurance, via the Veterans Administration for veterans, voc rehab, assistive technology loans, or even medicare / medicaid.

  3. Bill Says:

    The way I see it,at that weight it needs the ability to put itself in your trunk after you get yourself into your car!

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