In 1933, mechanical engineers Harry Jennings and Herbert Everest had designed a steel collapsible model. After this invention, the design and functions of wheelchairs went through continuous changes with the advent of new technologies and materials. Today, the aim of designers and engineers working on innovative wheelchair designs is to provide more than just mobility. They are now using electric motors, propulsion, safety, steering, comfortable seating and easy access to controls. These futuristic wheelchairs suit best to users who are in high-movement environments, such as schools. Moreover, innovators are doing their best to develop all-terrain wheelchairs. Out of these many designs, we have listed some of the best ones below:
Trekinetic GT-3 Active Sports Pro
Going beyond traditional chassis, Trekinetic’s original K-2 model chair features a carbon fiber monocoque seat, which is anatomically molded to brilliantly support the human form. It also includes an auto-tilt feature for adjustments for various terrains. The design is stylish and the maker describes it as the most beautiful wheelchair ever designed.
Made from hydroformed aluminum, the chair is lightweight, weighing only 18.5 pounds. Perhaps, it’s the most compact foldable wheelchair with minimalistic design. Design elements are incorporated to reduce energy usage for handling and driving with quick-release wheels and a dynamic folding and locking system.
A futuristic design, the CARRIER is an advanced prototype that was created to make routine activity easier. The chair has a seat “trap door” at a toilet-friendly height and there is a special Galileo Wheel to make mobility simple.
Carbon Black Wheelchair
Living upto its sleek moniker, made exclusively from carbon-fiber, the chair intends to modernize the look, functionality and even desirability of the traditional wheelchair. It took four years to design and develop for the Scottish inventor and wheelchair user Andrew Slorance. The chair also features a line of LED lights on the footrest that not only brightens the path ahead but also provides visibility to wheelchair.
Independent Wheelchair Assist
Designed and developed by New Zealand based student Oscar Fernandez, the model was submitted as an entry to the prestigious James Dyson Competition. He was able to devise an add-on called the Independent Wheelchair Assist, which transforms the chair into a small, motorized vehicle. The designer observed the physical and psychosocial factors and did a detailed research before development of this chair. The chair was built using 3D-printer along with some hand-tools.
The Tank Chair
With its caterpillar tread-style rubber tracks and high-torque electric motors, the Tank Chair was designed to be used anywhere including snow, sand, mud and streams. However, the chair is heavy and large in size which makes it somewhat odd for normal roads or pathways. However, it remains one of the most unique and powerful wheelchair since 2000s.