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The Wheelchair That Can Travel Up Stairs
Jan 12, 2018

If you use a wheelchair, travelling up stairs is impossible, particularly in public places. A company in France has developed a high-tech electric wheelchair that can climb up and down stairs.

A stair climbing device including a support unit, a climbing unit driven by a motor and a control unit for controlling operation of the climbing unit, wherein a detection unit is provided for detecting the current position of the support unit with respect to one or several steps of a stair which includes at least one non-contact sensor, wherein the detection unit provides signals to the control unit, which signals contain information about the current position of the support unit with respect to one or several steps of the stair, and wherein the control unit is adapted to control operation of the climbing unit depending on signals of the detection unit.A wheelchair having apparatus mounted thereon which, when placed in stair-climbing position, enables an occupant of the wheelchair to turn the large wheels of the wheelchair in a reverse direction, thereby causing a plurality of sprockets and chains mounted thereon to climb a stairway.

The chair must be calibrated for the user's weight, and people who will be using these wheelchairs must be trained not only in the proper use, but pass physical, cognitive, and perception tests to prove they can operate Dragon stair climber chair safely. Conventional stair-climbing devices have the disadvantage that the climbing operation is effected in a jerky manner. An operator therefore during the climbing operation has to balance load change reactions which due to the fact that they occur quickly, that means within a short period of time, are clearly sensible.

Stairs are nearly everywhere, and navigating them in a traditional wheelchair is impossible. Enlisting the services of others to drag or carry you and your chair up those stairs is dangerous, inconvenient and often embarrassing. Using self-balancing technology similar to that found in the Segway, the Dragon aims to change this by giving wheelchair-bound individuals the freedom to navigate any terrain.

Other similar solutions have been far too expensive for most potential users, but Galileo hopes to offer their chair at a price similar to other powered wheelchairs. Though it's not yet in production, a product like this has the potential to positively impact a huge number of lives. The technology used for the wheel-to-track conversion is ingenious and, based on the other products on their site, very versatile.

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