Tech. breakthroughs inspire personal mobility device design

Posted on June 29, 2015

San Carlos, Calif.-based Whill Inc. developed a chair with all-directional front wheels. Photo: WHILL
San Carlos, Calif.-based Whill Inc. developed a chair with all-directional front wheels. Photo: WHILL

Technical breakthroughs in software, batteries, sensors and lower-cost hardware manufacturing have inspired a recent burst of innovation in personal mobility devices. Improving technology also makes them more helpful for elder care and elder assistance, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Models coming on the market or in development can climb stairs, turn tight corners, make their way over trails, and are lighter and easier to maneuver than earlier generations, the report said.

About 20% of the U.S. population has a disability, and about 2% of that group require a personal mobility device, says Richard Skaff, executive director of the advocacy group Designing Accessible Communities, and a user of wheelchairs for more than 30 years, WSJ reported. For the full report, click here.

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