Reuters is reporting that UPnRIDE Robotics, an Israeli firm, is releasing its innovative mobility device that combines the capabilities of a powered wheelchair wither either a standing or sitting position for its user. The UPnRIDE at first looks like a high tech wheelchair, but after the person is strapped into the harness it can rise up and place the person into a fully upright position.
It can drive down walkways and even handle slopes and curbs, adjusting the angle of the person in relation to the wheels to keep the center of mass in a safe location.
The founder of the company, a disabled man himself, and many team members also developed the ReWalk exoskeleton, an already FDA cleared device that lets paralyzed people actually walk on their own. The exoskeleton is kind of slow though and is practical only for certain patients. The team thought that a wheeled upright device may help fill a need.
We’re aware of the iBOT developed by Dean Kamen and friends, which uses technology similar to that inside a Segway to raise and balance the user on two wheels. The UPnRIDE, while not having the impressive agility of the iBOT, has the person actually stand and hopefully bring back a better sense of normality for its users.
Here’s a video introducing the UPnRIDE mobility device:
Link: UPnRIDE Robotics…