While wheelchair design is advancing, allowing chairs to do things like move sideways and diagonally and follow the person next to them, stairs and curbs remain a formidable hurdle for all but a few models. It's an obstacle, however, that Japanese researchers are looking to overcome.
A team at Chiba Institute of Technology has rolled out a new robotic wheelchair that can climb over steps, ditches, and other roadblocks. The four-wheel-drive, five-axis vehicle maneuvers like a typical wheelchair -- except when it encounters an obstacle. Then it uses its wheels like legs. … Read more