The Design blog

The Design blog


Wheelchair cum electric vehicle unveiled at Toyota Motor Show

Posted: 10 Dec 2011 12:51 PM PST

Nisha Changrani:

Wheelchairs have been the sole means of short distance transport for many people around the world. They have proven to be a constant companion for those who need a perfect company for their assistance. However, here we are talking of short distance traveling which can well be covered by using hand driven wheelchairs. However, when the question of rotating the wheels manually for long distances comes, it can be more than just tiresome. Here comes the use of electric wheelchairs.

The WHILL
The WHILL

However, buying a totally electricity driven wheelchair might be costly and not an optimal solution, the reason being that electricity is not necessary when the chair can be operated manually for relatively shorter distances. Would it not be a wiser solution if something was made that could provide electricity to wheelchairs only when needed? Well, yes! It would be. That is why, we talk here of WHILL, a Japanese company that is in the process of creating a prototype of such a device. The wheel chair was displayed at Toyota Motor Show this year.

Picture Gallery
The WHILL
The WHILL turns any wheelchair into an electric vehicle.

The device would be operational in the following manner. It would actually be a band with two round hubs that can be attached to the center of the wheels. The band that joins the hubs can be adjusted according to the user's convenience and locked thereafter. The two hubs are powered by lithium ion batteries, which take a couple of hours to get charged, and a 24 volt motor. The wheelchair can attain a maximum speed of 20 km/hr.

The Company is looking for some wheel chair users who could provide their valuable insights regarding the sample. It is only then WHILL will launch a commercial version in the market. Let us see how many users would be the supportive pillars of this magic weapon.

Source: gizmag


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