It’s hard to imagine what life is like on a daily basis for people confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk at all.
Like most illnesses/diseases/conditions, though, I’d hazard a guess and say that the cause and effect of being wheelchair bound makes the situation twice as challenging. That is, being afflicted with whatever disability the person has in the first place (cause), coupled with the effects it has on their lives – for example, the lack of freedom to get up, and constantly being lower than other people.
But designers in Chile have found a way to tackle these issues…
A New Perspective on the World
That’s how Juan Ayala describes Kiron Innovation’s new wheelchair.
Ayala was born with cerebral palsy, which has confined him to his wheelchair for his whole life. But with the simple push of a button, Kiron’s new wheelchair allows him to stand upright.
And it gives him the chance to do things that able-bodied people can do without thinking twice about it: “I can easily use the toilet, open the window, wash the dishes, look people in the eye, not look up, and avoid being looked down at.”
It’s yet another example of how advancing technologies and new innovations are changing the world.
Once thought unthinkable, wheelchair-bound people are discovering newfound freedom.
And it’s not the only form of this technology that exists, either. Indeed, two years ago, we covered a similar robotic wheelchair called iTransport from Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University.
But Kiron says its version offers two crucial differences.
As the company’s Deputy Director, Francisco Espinoza, explains, its “simple design avoids the complications that other standing wheelchairs have. And it’s cheaper so everyone could own one.” It costs $1,600.
The crux of the design means Get Up is geared towards freedom – both physically and psychologically. Espinoza says, “the chair does all the work” and locks the user in place once they’re standing.
Take a look…
At the moment, the wheelchair is only available in Chile’s capital, Santiago. But Kiron has plans to expand into Brazil – and, if successful, further afield thereafter.
With new wheelchair technology like this, plus the fantastic innovations being made with robotic exoskeletons, this is one area of technology and innovation that’s truly deserving of the tag “life changing.”