An electric wheelchair that helps people climb stairs is perhaps the most productive Final year project idea that the students have come up with. Salevo is an electric hybrid wheelchair and a segway.
It is very much similar to segway that works on a gyroscopic technology. It consists of two wheels and a an easy model of rotation and swinging when it comes to climbing stairs, it’s the best idea ever !
It was developed by 10 students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and the Zurich University of the Arts. The team is a mix of engineers and industrial designers under the directorship of Dr. Roland Siegwart and Dr. Roland Haas. On a flat ground it can move with a speed of 10 kilometers per hour that is 6.2mph. The most amazing and impressive feature of this chair is its ability to climb stairs with 17 to 34 degrees slope. The user is kept upright during the climb. It can climb one stair per second. It can also mount spiral staircases.
“The great thing is that everything on this wheelchair is automated. If I want to climb the stairs I can just drive up to them, turn around, press one button and all I have to do is control the velocity I want to drive at. The alignment on the stairs, the leveling of the wheelchair driver, is automated and he can control it, he can view the back with a back facing camera, and have a full, safe, driving experience.” Said a mechanical engineering student at ETH Zurich.
Although this isn’t the only such project. Johnson and Johnson developed similar project called iBot. iBot turned out to be too expensive and was discarded very soon. Scalevo wheelchair is not yet commercially available but the students are planning to make it commercial very soon. The idea is to launch prototypes to make lives easy for everyone around.