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Stair-Climbing Wheelchair
Dec 07, 2017

What do you need to know if you have a Dragon mobility system stair-climbing wheelchair? How do these mobility systems actually climb stairs, and what is required before people with disabilities can use them?

Let's look at the history of the Dragon stair-climbing wheelchair, the features, and precautions for those who choose these mobility systems.

As people struggle with the stairs, they find themselves constricted in how they use their home. It might start in a small way by limiting how often you use the stairs. For example, rather than going upstairs for something when you first think of it, you might wait until the next time you have to go upstairs and grab it then. This can turn into planning your daily routine based on how often you need to use the stairs. Ultimately, you might think of living on one floor, converting a ground floor dining room into a bedroom, or installing a downstairs bathroom. But why limit yourself and stop using parts of the home you love, when a Dragon Stairlift removes the obstacle of stairs? A stairlift lets you use all your home however you like, whenever you like, by giving you access all areas of your home.

The spring-loaded stairs compress when someone comes down the stairs, saving energy otherwise dissipated through impact and braking forces at the ankle by 26 percent. When going up, the stairs give people a boost by releasing the stored energy, making it 37 percent easier on the knee than using conventional stairs. The low-power device can be placed on existing staircases and doesn’t have to be permanently installed.

Each stair is tethered by springs and equipped with pressure sensors. When a person walks downstairs, each step slowly sinks until it locks into place and is level with the next step, storing energy generated by the user. It stays that way until someone walks upstairs. When a person ascending the stairs steps on the sensor on the next tread up, the latch on the lower step releases. The stored energy in the spring is also released, lifting up the back leg.

The paper is currently published in the journal Public Library of Science PLOS ONE. The authors say the initial idea was to use energy-recycling prosthetic shoes to help people going up stairs.

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