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Whill Type-A takes a unique approach to the motorized wheelchair

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October 22, 2013

The Whill Type-A wheelchair

The Whill Type-A wheelchair

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A couple of years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, we came across an interesting prototype device known as the Whill. Looking sort of like a giant pair of headphones, it could be clamped over the wheels of an existing manual wheelchair, temporarily providing it with an electric drive system. Although that particular device was never commercialized, its makers recently let us know that a product based on the technology is now about to enter production – the Whill Type-A motorized wheelchair.

Instead of being based around the concept of pressing a third-party chair into service, the Type-A was designed as a complete system.

The one-hand-operated controls are mounted in one of the two arms that sit to either side of the user. Those arms can either be left fully forward for complete control, telescoped down to allow for access to desks or tables, or pulled back and out of the way for getting in and out of the chair.

Instead of being based around the concept of pressing a third-party chair into service, th...

When the user does want to get in or out, the process is further facilitated by a seat that slides forward and backward relative to the rest of the chair.

All four wheels are powered, reportedly providing decent traction on slippery or uneven surfaces. The Type-A can also climb over obstructions up to three inches (7.5 cm) high, plus it can turn on the spot via independently-operating left- and right-side motors, along with front wheels that can roll both forward/backward and left/right.

One 5-hour charge of its battery pack should be good for about 15 miles (24 km) of use. The chair's top speed is 6 mph (9.6 km/h).

The Whill company is now taking pre-orders, and states that US deliveries should begin early next year. There is no word yet on price.

Source: Whill

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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5 Comments

An indoor Zero Turn Mower !

Martin Hone
22nd October, 2013 @ 06:08 pm PDT

I agree Martin - Just a little smaller and with no blades! Still, anything that helps mobility has got to be a good thing. Friends and/or wheelchair pushers are not always around so power drive has got to be a bonus.

The Skud
22nd October, 2013 @ 06:49 pm PDT

he needs to spend 6 months in a chair.

then he would end up with something like this.

http://www.youtube.com/user/badpolxxx

thisguydave
23rd October, 2013 @ 02:08 pm PDT

Combine this with a port of MAME to Google Glass, and load up the Battle Zone ROM... Just be sure to have plenty of room to roam around.

Gregg Eshelman
23rd October, 2013 @ 02:17 pm PDT

No self-respecting paraplegic these days wants a wheelchair only capable of a pathetic 9.6km/h.

nutcase
24th October, 2013 @ 02:42 am PDT
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