Tagged With 787

This morning, Christies announced that it would be auctioning off 22 items from the life and work of renowned theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, who passed away earlier this year. Among the items up for auction will be one of Professor Hawking’s earlier motorised wheelchairs, which he relied on when his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis left him almost completely paralysed. It’s an iconic piece that will hopefully end up in a museum, not a private collection.

Before the show floor opens to throngs of tech enthusiasts, and before big companies like Sony, Samsung, and LG reveal their latest and greatest to the world, we get a sneak peek at the trends shaping CES 2018 at an event called CES: Unveiled. And millennials be damned, because this year, the best gadgets could be the ones designed for seniors.

Most electric wheelchairs and mobility devices can easily shrug off a little rain, but on the whole, they really don't mix well with water. So engineers at the University of Pittsburgh designed a powered wheelchair that runs on compressed air, allowing those with limited mobility to safely enjoy a day at the water park. Every now and then, good things really do happen in this world.

Remember the brilliant Star Wars Snowspeeder costume that Ryan Scott Miller built around his son's wheelchair last Halloween? He's already managed to top himself a year later by now turning Jeremy's wheelchair into a miniature version of the Ghostbusters' Ecto-1. This kid is getting so many lollies.

Before the Segway, inventor Dean Kamen created a standing, self-balancing wheelchair called the iBot that gave users more independence and freedom. It also cost $US25,000 ($32,440), and is no longer available. But a new all-mechanical alternative might provide the same improvements in quality of life for users, at a much cheaper price point.

At just 17kg -- including its electric motor and rechargeable battery -- the creators of the Zinger claim their electric wheelchair is the world's lightest. It even folds flat just like a lawn chair, and while you won't want to have to carry it on a long walk to the beach, it's easier to toss into the trunk of a car than most non-powered wheelchairs.

It's one of the most stale idioms in the book: "Don't reinvent the wheel". But that didn't stop Gilad Wolf, the Israeli inventor who found that comfortably getting around in a conventional wheelchair was nearly impossible. Instead, Wolf set out to reinvent his wheelchair wheels.

Getting around in a wheelchair is difficult enough, even when one still has use of their upper extremities. Quadriplegics face an exponentially more difficult challenge: controlling the wheelchair by sucking or blowing air through a straw. But this new powered wheelchair from the Georgia Institute of Technology will respond to a flick of the user's tongue.

It might look like a one-seat sofa capable of traversing almost any terrain on the planet, but this compact electric vehicle is actually designed to be a highly manoeuvrable and comfortable alternative to a traditional wheelchair. You won't ever see it cruising down footpaths, but one day they might be crawling all over hospitals.

Not surprisingly, those fancy electric wheelchairs that let people with limited mobility cruise about with the push of a joystick are incredibly expensive. So adapting technology that powers modern electric bikes, Yamaha's JWX-2 electric assist gives that same mobility for less -- and can be retrofitted to almost any manually driven wheelchair.