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Will wheelchairs soon be obsolete?
Orginal Article: By Audrey Quinn
Wheelchairs have been around since the 6th century. And sure, in the 1500 years since then they’ve gained more comfortable seats, ruggeder wheels, and motorized options, but the overall concept has remained the same.
The Tek Robotic Mobilization Device (Tek RMD) brings an entirely new approach to mobility for people with disabled legs. It’s Turkish developers cite its three main advantages:
- Users mount from the back- When your legs don’t work properly, it can be really difficult to get yourself to the front of wheelchair and sit down into it. With the Tek RMD users can start from a sitting position, then pull themselves up into the rear of the device, attaching a strap around their back.
- Standing for health- Doctors recommend parapalegics spend at least 1 hour a day standing to keep their bodies healthy. The Tek RMD helps rise users up into the standing position, so they can go about their day at the same height as their peers.
- Correct standing position- Other tools that help with standing, like canes or walkers, require the user to remain slightly bent over. Strapped into the Tek RMD, the user can stand fully uprightdevised by team of turkish scientists.
- Dimensions- The Tek RMD spans about 14″ x 24″ of floorspace, considerably less than a standard wheelchair. This allows the user to navigate narrow spaces typically unreachable for paraplegics.
Users navigate the device with a joystick. It runs off a rechargable battery, which must be recharged every three days.
The Tek RMD went on the market in Turkey last month, and its developers are currently in search of a distributor in the U.S., where it will cost about $15,000.
Despite its ability to help the user grocery shop, flirt, and barbecue, ads for the device seem to ignore one common obstacle: navigating stairs.
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