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Toyota and Segway inventor team up on stair-climbing wheelchair
Sep 09, 2017

Toyota Motor North America said Saturday it will work with DEKA Research and Development — the company founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen — to help launch the next-generation chair lifts for home stairsthat are designed to navigate stairs and lift users to stand face-to-face with companions.

For its part, Toyota will license balancing technologies held by DEKA and its affiliate for medical rehabilitative therapy and potentially other purposes. The companies said they continue to engage in ongoing discussions about how Toyota can further support DEKA and its mobility assistance technology.

In practice, this might mean speeding up airport arrivals (such as by automated parking) or digitally integrating checkpoints so that passengers only have to identify themselves once. It might mean improving location services via mobile apps, or using video-based people tracking software to better manage passenger flows.

Other demands, however, depend on the airport. Setting aside a few very unusual projects (i.e., the ones that have been implemented for some royal family airport terminals), there are a number of factors affecting the end result.

“Our solutions might vary due to climate conditions, especially when using glass-walled passenger boarding bridges,” says Delobelle. “Or it could be the different aesthetic requirements imposed by architects – which affects the type of glass, boarding bridge colour, flooring type and lighting – as well as functional requirements. Each customer wants our products to fit into the look and feel of the airport as a whole, and we have the highest capability in the industry to custom-design and manufacture solutions to meet these requirements.” Fortunately, many chair lifts for home stairs manufacturers have rectified this problem by designing handles that point straight up. This makes cheating more difficult. Still, you’ll see people hanging on these newer handles. In its simplest form, a stair lift is a chair that climbs up and down a staircase on a motorized rail attached to the stairs. The most important reason to choose a stair lift for your home is the comfort it will give both you and your family and friends.

When being used on normal flat ground, it balances on two wheels like a Segway and allows users to turn on the spot in order to quickly change direction. Two rubber tracks mounted to the bottom of the chair can be summoned at the press of a button to allow the user to climb stairs.

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