Do you dare to climb three floors up the stairs or do you prefer to take the elevator? What for many constitutes an easy decision, for wheelchair users it is really an impassable obstacle.
Scewo Bro proposes a very simple solution: a wheelchair that can circumvent the steps of any place without using a second structure, such as stair lifts. ?
We had the opportunity to interview their manufacturers, who told us how was the process to create this wheelchair that could be the key to the mobility of many people.
The now CEO of the startup, Bernhard Winter, was the one who wanted to build for his graduation a robot that would be transported on wheels and up stairs. With the vision of one of his teachers, I decided to put a chair, so that the device was really useful.
This is how the idea of ??this semi-automatic wheelchair came about. The first prototype was developed by students of the Federal Political School of Zrich and the Higher School of Arts of Zrich. After the publication of a video on YouTube, we received many messages of support and interest and now, two years later, we are about to launch our product in Switzerland, says the head of Marketing and Communications of the firm, Tabita Regg.
At first glance, Scewo Bro looks like a futuristic wheelchair. It has a more avant-garde design and its white color makes it look even more modern. The most difficult thing was to develop a device in which design, mechanics and software converge, he adds.
If we compare this mobility vehicle with cars, the latter always have four wheels, but clearly their designs change quite a lot and their functionalities also. In that sense, building a wheelchair that can climb stairs can be something as revolutionary as the creation of the first sports cars.
The change in design is seen at first sight. According to Regg, mechanical engineers built a safe device that can handle the forces that are applied to the device. The challenge for the designers was to give it a case that looked beautiful and in which every detail would fit perfectly.
Scewo Bro wants to be the wheelchair of the future. And it is that it is not only electric, but it can also be paired with your phone to access its multiple functions, which also include the displacement on flat terrain, in addition to the adjustments of the backrest angle and its height. Is the mobile battery over? No problem: it can be controlled with a joystick, although in a somewhat limited way.
Like other electric wheelchairs, it carries a battery on board that can be monitored from the cell phone and achieves an autonomy of 40 miles (25 kilometers). Its maximum speed is 6.2 miles (10 km) per hour. Given that a person walks walking 3.0 miles (4.8 km) in one hour, we can say that Scewo Bro is not slow at all.
Like stairs, sloping terrain is a complication, but also a risk. Scewo Bro take its users even on mountainous trails, while keeping the seat angle at a comfortable level. In case of facing a slippery slope, a Path mode can be activated so that the transfer is safe.
A few obstacles
Although Scewo Bro represents a great advance for mobility, it has some limitations: it cannot climb spiral stairs, board those with a slope greater than 40 degrees or the highest steps of 8.0 inches (20 cm).
For now, they are only available in Switzerland, for just over $ 33,000 dollars, although they will soon arrive in Austria and Germany. In the future, the company wants to expand throughout the world, including the US, despite its strict regulations.
Everything is in the details
Scewo Bro has noticed even the smallest details, but that can completely change people's experience. The chair can be raised until the user can see their friends or family members standing face to face, so as not to miss any experience.
The product comes with additional options, such as a rear camera, a head and a backpack to carry things on the back. It also has an easy access compartment under the seat, space to store valuable things.
In essence, Scewo Bro is a technological advance that represents freedom for its users by not having to depend on their support circle to move around their home and the world.
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