Could this innovative new prototype be the future for wheelchairs?
A new conceptual wheelchair prototype turned heads at this year’s Rehacare exhibition in Germany with the innovative ability to be able to follow users around, encouraging people to remain as active as possible.
Created by Mobotics Lab (the research & development team at Karma Medical in Taiwan), the iBuddy is a unique new mobility solution that uses a series of patent electronics to sense its surroundings in real-time and be closely follow the person using the device.
Described as a smart-wheelchair, the device is aimed at the elderly who are showing signs of declining mobility says the company, with the aim of keeping the user walking for as long as possible, promoting a healthy lifestyle and independence.
Users can control the wheelchair via a specialist Karma Medical wristband or from their phone by means of a dedicated iBuddy app, with both options created by the company to make the device as user-friendly and interactive as possible.
Mark Duffield, Karma Mobility UK’s General Manager, commented: “This is a fantastic example of what the research & development team at Karma in Taiwan are continually developing and we are very excited about having a prototype here in the UK in the future.”
The company says the robotic wheelchair will give users the confidence to walk journeys that they would use a wheelchair in the past, with peace of mind for themselves and their carers that the device is on hand when walking becomes tiring and strenuous.
In addition to the innovative features, Karma Medical says the device also helps shake the stigma associated with mobility aids with its futuristic design, allowing walking aids to be seen as fun and trendy.
Importantly, the iBuddy includes elements designed for the needs of carers and family members, such as in the case of an emergency, where the iBuddy can share the exact location of the user in real-time, allowing assistance to arrive promptly.
See the iBuddy in action below: