Scott Daigle, a graduate engineering student at University of Illinois, has developed an automatic transmission system for traditional wheelchairs. The system comes as two replacement wheels that attach to just about any wheelchair and work without any user interaction. IntelliWheels, the company that Daigle started to commercialize the wheels, has not brought them to the market yet, but there must be thousands of people hoping to try them out.
Recognizing the movements of the user, it automatically chooses the right gear for going uphill, downhill, and across rough terrains by monitoring how fast the user is going and how hard they are pushing.An automated system was crucial so the user wouldn’t have to expend any extra time or effort to change gears.The design is ideal for reducing load on the upper body while making gear shifting transparent to the user. Wheelchair users were consulted in developing the technology.
Product page: IntelliWheels AGS