A team of masters students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have been using all of their spare time to work on the most revolutionary wheelchair to date. The Scewo is not only sleek and modern looking, it is incredibly functional and can even climb stairs.
Originally, the wheelchair was created during a group project at the institute where the team and 5 more of their classmates built a prototype that they called Scalevo. The Scalevo 5 decided later on that the invention was too brilliant to not be tinkered with further. 2 of the team members are paraplegic, so they are able to give reliable input on how the design of the chair can be most effective.
The now named Scewo team’s main objective is to make a wheelchair that is suited to life in the 21st century using the most up-to-date technology available. With an invention like this, those who have experienced spinal cord injury survival can have a wheelchair that provides them with more ease and functionality than any other chair has before.
Features & Design
The Scewo wheelchair comes with many beneficial functions and controls, such as:
- Adjustable seating. The chair’s seat is easily adjustable in order to provide the most support and comfort possible.
- A slim and compact build. The chair’s small size makes maneuvering through tight spaces easy.
- Self-balancing abilities. The chair is able to navigate smoothly over bumps and curbs and avoid getting stuck by rotating its balance.
- Stair climbing. With built-in rubber tracks, the chair can smoothly ride up normal, and even spiral, staircases.
- A raisable seat. The wheel located in the back of the chair can move together and meet underneath the main wheel in order to raise the seat and bring the user to an eye-to-eye level or reach high up objects.
- Safety settings. The climbing tracks can be adjusted to lay low against the ground to provide traction when riding on slippery surfaces. There is also a setting that will keep the chair stationary.
- Joystick control. The chair’s direction can also be controlled by the shifting of body weight.
Team Scewo built the original prototype in 2014 and kept moving forward with production after the immense feedback they received. They went on to create a 2nd prototype which they used to compete with at the Cybathlon competition in 2016.
They are now, once again, gathering feedback in order to fine-tune the design so the chair will be at it’s most functional when it is released to the public. They foresee having this research completed sometime in 2017.
Because of this, the wheelchair is still about a year or 2 from being put out on the market. Funds are still being raised for it’s production and the team has a Patreon set up for anyone who would like to contribute to it’s development.
Wheelchair Use With Spinal Cord Injury
The majority of individuals who have survived a spinal cord injury depend on wheelchairs to achieve a good amount of their normal everyday tasks. Because of this, rehabilitation often incorporates the use of a wheelchair.
The Scewo wheelchair is built thoughtfully so those using it are comfortable and upright with ample support from a structure that is easily adjustable. A study done by a rehab center in Turkey found that 55% of SCI patients are using inappropriate wheelchairs. The way that a chair supports the individual is essential for maintaining their health and avoiding any further damage to their physical being. Speak to your doctor or physical therapist if you have any questions about the appropriateness of the wheelchair being used by you or your loved one.