The Tweel is an non-pneumatic Tire/WhEEL combo which offers an idiot-proof, no-maintenance, easily-retreadable tire for consumers and the holy grail for the military - a tire that can't be “shot out.” You won't see the Tweel on your sandmobile any time soon because it has noise, vibration, heat and wear problems at highway speeds, but its unique construction enables it to be specifically engineered with ideal characteristics for highly specialized low speed applications. The ultimate badge of credibility was bestowed on the design when it rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue on NASA’s Small Pressurized Lunar Rover prototype during the Obama presidential inauguration.
August 5, 2005 Dean Kamen is best known for Project ginger and the Segway but to many people on the planet his most significant contribution has been the iBOT Mobility System which was introduced in 2003 – using a unique combination of electronics, sensors and software, the iBOT allows users to raise themselves to eye level, climb stairs and gives people with disabilities a greater sense of independence and freedom to go where they want to go. This week Independence Technology, the company that manufactures and markets the iBot, introduced the next generation of the revolutionary mobility system - the iBOT 4000 offers a number of significant enhancements over the original iBOT 3000 model.Read More
The recent news that Swiss and Spanish scientists have developed a successful prototype of a mind-controlled wheelchair is yet another indication of broad range of work being done around the planet to develop mobility solutions for the disabled and aged market. Most importantly, the new system adds a critical dimension to the work being done - machine control via the mind. In a system which might best be described as augmented or assisted telepathy, the new system is reported to use electrodes embedded in a skullcap to monitor the brain patterns of the user, interpret them via sophisticated software algorithms, and control the wheelchair via a wireless link.