Group of Students Create Revolutionary Wheelchair that can Climb and Descend Stairs

Natalie Krawczyk
By Natalie Krawczyk
March 13, 2017Stories

Since it was invented the wheelchair, for the most part, has stayed the same while situations that those who need a wheelchair often come across have changed. Ramps make it easier to get into buildings that have stairs and wide doorways and pathways can make it somewhat painless to navigate a bulky chair.

But what about the places that don’t have a ramp or places where a corner makes it impossible to turn in a wheelchair?

That is where Scalevo comes in.

Scalevo Wheelchair

A group of students from ETH Zurich and Zurich University of the Arts created the revolutionary chair. While at first glance the Scalevo may look like a traditional wheelchair, this one uses two wheels instead of four to provide better mobility and it has the capability to climb and descend stairs.

In order to scale a set of stairs, the user positions the Scalevo in front of the stairs. A pair of rubber treads, a bit similar to what you might see on a tank, come down from the bottom of the chair. The mechanism then slowly moves the chair up the stairs, adjusting the user in their seat as it climbs to keep them level.

Although slow-moving, it provides a greater sense of independence.

Scalevo Wheelchair

At the time of its invention, the students only intended to use the Scalevo to compete in the 2016 Cybathlon Challenge, but after receiving praise from interested parties, the group made plans to create a second prototype with the hopes of eventually making it available to the public.

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