Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bartek Ostalowski Drifts Car With His Feet

Drifting is a form of motorsport that consists of intentionally sliding a car around a corner at speed.  In many respects, it is like controlling a car that is almost out of control.  Bartek Ostalowski is a gifted individual who competed in various Rally and Cup Car races before his pursuit into Drifting.  What makes this 26 year old from Poland so special is that he drives the car with his feet.  More info and a video clip after the jump.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Supercar Fitted With Hand Controls :)

The car that is in the picture above is a Nissan GTR.  This is currently one of the quickest supercars available to the public.  Capable of keeping up with almost any Ferrari, Porsche, or nearly any vehicle short of a pure race car, it is one of those dream cars that many people only dream about seeing let alone drive or own.  Unfortunately for many of us in wheelchairs, the only way we could drive them is through a video game.  With many of these cars fitted with manual transmissions, cars with such performance capabilities were not an option for those that needed to use hand controls. Fortunately, the GTR does not have a manual transmission: it has a semi-automatic transmission that has paddle shifters and even an automatic mode.  More info after the jump.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nissan Debuts Steer By Wire System: Can It Make Adapted Driving Easier?

The steering system of a car has started to change quite a bit over the last few decades with the advent of electric assisted power steering, which allowed for much reduced steering effort by the driver.  Recently, automakers have moved to power steering that is completely electric in a quest to improve fuel efficiency and also allowing customizable steering effort for the driver.  In an effort to make driving safer, automakers have been experimenting with steer-by-wire systems that completely eliminate any mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels.  Nissan has since previewed their system that is set to be fitted onto some of their production cars in the coming years.  More information after the jump.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wheelchair From Japan Can Step Over Obstacles And Climb Steps

Researchers and Engineers from the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan have developed a new wheelchair that has the capability of articulating itself to get over obstacles and climb up curbs and steps.  More information and a video after the jump.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Signal Snowboards Makes Adapted Snowboard

Signal Snowboards, along with mountain bike accessory-makers Crankbrothers, worked together with the goal of getting former snowboard legend Tim Ostler back on the slopes. Injured from an accident on the half-pipe twelve years ago, the professional snowboarder was left paralyzed from the chest down.  The results of the efforts among these two crews has resulted in one of the most unique creations that has been devised in recent memory.  More information and a video after the jump.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Panasonic Developing Wheelchair/Bed Hybrid

Panasonic is developing an electric bed that has the unique ability to transform itself into a wheelchair.  It is intended for limited mobility patients that have difficulty with transferring from their hospital bed to their wheelchair and resolves this issue by simply having them morph into each other.  The patient only needs to be moved onto the side of the bed that transforms into a wheelchair and the transition is performed via a remote that can be utilized by a single operator.  More information after the jump.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

DARIOS Hand Controls On A Ferrari

Tim Rinaldi was a very successful drag racer of cars and bikes before becoming paralyzed in a lawn mower accident in 2007.  Not willing to give up his need for speed, Rinaldi decided that he needed a new car and bought a Ferrari 458 Italia.  Find out why he bought this car and how he adapted the car after the jump.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Useful Idea: Car Driven By Remote Control

The picture above is of the BYD Su Rai, a new car sold in China. While this car is, as far as anyone is concerned, not intended to be sold outside of China, the interesting feature that stands out about this car is the fact that it has the capability of being driven by remote control.  More information and a video clip after the jump.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Did Oscar Pistorius Get Track Spikes For His Legs?

For those watching the Track and Field events at the London Olympics, you may have heard of Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner in the 400m event who has the distinction of being the first amputee to compete in the Olympics for Track. After protesting for years to be given the opportunity to compete for his country for years, he successfully got permission to do just that. More info after the jump.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why Powerchairs Don't Use Escalators

This video was shown on the news earlier this week and has been released by the Boston Transportation Service, or MBTA, as an advisory to powerchair users as to why it is not a good idea to use the escalator to go up a floor. As you can see in the above clip, this can result in some disastrous results.  Enjoy the clip and, for all the powerchair and scooter users, be sure to use the elevator. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Che-Yu Lu's Wheelcare Concept

Che-Yu Lu's Wheelcare Concept is for a wheelchair that is designed to be ergonomically designed to be not only comfortable for the user but also easily-adjustable for the caregiver. The handles, footrests, and other aspects of the wheelchair are designed to be easily adjusted by the caregiver to provide as much comfort and safety to the user while minimizing strain by the caregiver. This chair was inherently  designed to reduce the caregiver's effort and reduce the likelihood of injury while caring for the user.  More images after the jump.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blindsquare Uses Foursquare To Guide Blind

MIPSoft has developed an app for the iPhone and iPad called Blindsquare.  Utilizing GPS and compass data along with information gathered by the popular Foursquare app, Blindsquare allows the blind to see where they are by having the app dictate where they are located. This allows the user to determine where they are and also get verbal directions to their destination.  Blindsquare users can even get enhanced control with special accessories such as bone conduction headphones and a remote control so the user can have complete function while keeping their phone hidden.  Since the app does use Foursquare, Blindsquare users can also use the app to check in to locations on Foursquare.

The app is available now on iTunes for $14.99.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cindy Sjöblom's Cursum Stroller Concept For Wheelchair Users

Industrial Design student Cindy Sjöblom has developed a concept called the Carsum Stroller to address an issue that is difficult yet never quite been resolved:  transporting a baby. Most, if not all, strollers are designed with an able-bodied person in mind.  Trying to push a stroller and care for a baby when you are in a wheelchair is quite challenging with current strollers:  the Carsum Stroller aims to make life a little easier.  More info, images, and video after the jump.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Elman Lewis' Lucy Lift Brings Style to Hoyer Lift

Transferring patient with limited mobility to a bathtub or a wheelchair can be really difficult and uncomfortable. Lucy Lift has been designed to answer this problem; it’s an ideal patient transfer lift that provides easy transport as well as essential hygiene services, like we mentioned previously going to the toilet or taking a bath. Based on in-depth researches and interviews, this industrial designer identifies some major issues with current bath lifts, therefore it needs new bath lift design that addresses all those problems.  More info and images after the jump.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Push Girls Gives World Insight Into Wheelchair-Bound Life

The reality TV series Push Girls recently debuted on the Sundance Channel a couple of weeks ago (it's also on Hulu) and follows the lives of four women who all deal with the various trials and tribulations that follow when using a wheelchair on a daily basis. The show so far has provided a somewhat unfiltered and refreshing look into the lives of these women and is focused on showing that the wheelchair or injuries do not stop these women from pursuing their dreams. More info after the jump.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Independent Wheelchair Assist Transforms Manual Wheelchairs Into Scooters

There are times when manual wheelchair users would like the benefit of a powered assist like power chair  users; however, many people do not have the flexibility to own and use both a manual and a power chair daily on a regular basis.  The Independent Wheelchair Assist, or IWA, is a device designed to solve this problem by retrofitting a temporary electric drive to any manual chair.  More information and images after the jump.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honda UNI-CUB Personal Mobility Device

Honda will be releasing another personal mobility device for those who have difficulty walking long distances. The UNI-CUB is essentially a powered unicycle that is controlled by the user shifting their weight to change direction. With a top speed of 4mph and a battery that provides enough range to last for about an hour, it is meant to be used primarily indoors. Honda says it is "designed for harmony with people," as the device positions the rider at relatively the same height as pedestrians, rather than towering over them like a Segway rider. See the press release after the jump.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gosichi Conversion for GM Full-Size Trucks

Shown recently at the 2012 NY/Metro Abilities Expo, the GMC Sierra pickup truck in the above pic has been converted by Gosichi.  Founded in 1999 after the owner was frustrated with the lack of vehicle choices (and the fact that he was not particularly fond of minivans), he and his team have created a conversion for a pickup truck that can accommodate many powerchair users as either a driver or front passenger.  The end result of his work is nothing short of incredible.  More info and a video after the jump.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Flume Bathtub Concept Allows Easy Access With Style

While the roll-in shower may be the easier and more popular solution of bathing for wheelchair user, there are people who insist that there is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a bathtub.  While there are bathtubs on the market that feature a side door, they are prone to leaking around the seals and are not the most aesthetically pleasing bathtub. Chinese designers Kim Jung Su, Yoon Ji Soo and Kim Dong Hwan have come up with a interesting concept called the Flume that provides a stylish and interesting alternative.  More information and images after the jump.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Braun's Press Release Regarding Accessible NV200 Announcement

Braun has recently sent me the press release regarding the announcement of their work to make a wheelchair accessible NV200 taxi.  Read the release after the jump.

Jordan Diatlo's Ecko Prosthetic Leg Concept Blends Form & Function Together

One of the major issues with medical devices such as wheelchairs and prosthetics is the not only the function of these devices but also the form of these devices.  It does not matter how useful or usable their wheelchair or prosthetic is:  if it does not look good, there is a good chance that it will affect the quality of life of the user.  Luckily, there has been a small but growing group of designers who are appearing to help address this issue.  More information and images after the jump break.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

BMW Presents "Man and Machine" Ahead of 2012 Paralympics

BMW's UK Division (England)  has released a series of short documentaries ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games that are to be held in London this August.  The above clip profiles wheelchair racer David Weir.  In this clip, Weir talks about his relationship that he must have with his wheelchair.  He emphasizes his need to have a seamless connection that he must have with his wheelchair in order to deliver his ultimate performance.  The connection that David must have with this rather impressive machine that is his wheelchair is similar to what BMW engineers attempt to instill in BMW owners and their vehicles.  As you can see in the clip, you can see the rather extensive and near-fanatical lengths that Weir and his wheelchair undertake in order to be the fastest wheelchair racer in the world.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Felix Lange's Parafree Wheelchair Concept

Felix Lange's Parafree Wheelchair Concept is designed for users with a great balance and an active lifestyle. It is meant to be a "sport core-body training machine" for paraplegics with the outstanding benefit of comfort in everyday use. Its design language and structure support active users in their self-confidence and independence, hopefully inspiring hope and easing frustration. This concept wheelchair compels the paralyzed user to keep balance permanently.  More info and images after the jump.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nissan to Partner With Braun Corp. To Develop Accessible Taxi

Nissan has recently been chosen by the city of New York as the producer of their "Taxi of Tomorrow" and is destined to serve as the primary taxi vehicle for New York cab fleets. Nissan's NV200, has many features that are sure to please the majority of cab drivers and passengers:  more room, more lighting, a panoramic roof, airbags front and rear, climate control for the passengers, USB charging ports, and odor-absorbing seats and headliner. Despite all these advances, one of the criticisms of this new taxi has been the lack of any concessions to accessibility for wheelchair users:  one of the contenders for the "Taxi of Tomorrow" was designed from the outset to be a rear-entry vehicle but was passed over for the Nissan.  More info after the jump.

Nissan has recently released a press statement debuting the production version of the NV200 taxi and has stated that they have, "partnered with the Braun Corp., the world leader in automotive mobility products, to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Drawing on Braun's innovation and experience in the mobility industry, Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi medallion holders when the taxis go on sale in 2013."

Based on the specifications of this vehicle, it appears that Braun may attempt to adapt the NV200 to be a rear-entry taxi.  This taxi is slightly smaller than the typical minivan so a side-entry ramp is unlikely.  Look for this taxi to be running in the streets of New York within the next couple of years with the possibility of showing up nationally soon after that.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Self-Driving Car Tested With Blind Driver

Google started a project in 2010 to make driving safer, efficient, and more accessible to everybody.  This project has led to a number of working prototypes that have been developed and tested.  More info after the jump.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Christi "LynX" Rougoor Performs Wheelchair Bungee Jump

The following clip, filmed recently in Whistler, B.C., is of Christi Rougoor bungee jumping with her wheelchair.  Rougoor connected with 9Lives Adventures, a company that specializes in assisting people with disabilities to participate in extreme sports.  9Lives held a contest to have someone win the opportunity to perform the feat and show that people with disabilities can still be adrenaline junkies.  With Rougoor, a high school teacher, having a very active lifestyle prior to her accident, this bungee jump was an experience that will help her reclaim a part of who she was before her accident.  Enjoy the clip!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Colin Furze's Scooter Vs. Plane

Here is another clip of Colin Furze's insanely fast mobility scooter racing a plane that is taking off. As you can see, the scooter manages to keep up with the plane quite easily. Enjoy the clip!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rudolf Mihu's Comb Multifolding Wheelchair Concept

Rudolf Mihu's Comb Multifolding Wheelchair Concept, named because of the use of honeycomb shapes, was designed under the premise that current manual wheelchairs are too bulky when folded and stored and a rethink on how to make a manual wheelchair more compact when stored was needed. This concept wheelchair features an innovative folding mechanism that enables its user to easily store the chair when not in use or during transport. Mihu envisions to use materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium to construct this ultra-lightweight wheelchair.  More information and images after the jump.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Colin Furze's Hijinks In Snow With 70 MPH Scooter

It has been a couple of years since there has been a post about Colin Furze on this blog (read the first one here), but here he is a new clip of him with his monster scooter playing around in the snow.  Apparently there was reports that he had fitted the scooter with a flamethrower but was told by the authorities that it is illegal to fit one onto a scooter.  Who knew?  Enjoy the clip!

Wheel+Chair Concept Turns Any Chair Into Wheelchair

The Wheel+Chair concept is very innovative in its simplicity as it is, in layman's terms, a retrofit kit that transforms a standard chair into a fully functional manual wheelchair. By utilizing a standard house chair as the base, the production and transportation costs of this unit are drastically reduced when compared to a basic manual wheelchair. There are still many disabled people in the world who cannot afford a wheelchair, especially in the world’s poorest regions where even the cheapest wheelchair can be very prohibitively expensive. More information and images after the jump.

Monday, February 20, 2012

*UPDATE* Latest Top Gear Episode Features Scooter/Wheelchair Challenge

Top Gear is an insanely popular TV show in the UK that mainly focuses on cars.  In their most recent episode, they address the issue of mobility for the disabled.  The three hosts of the show felt that they were capable of building a scooter that was more capable yet cheaper than any existing scooter offered in the UK:  as a result, they each constructed their own creation to resolve this issue.  The result of their works have various degrees of success and also leads to many hilarious moments that will make wheelchair and scooter users laugh.

I suggest you watch it if you have the means to do so.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nike's Sole Makes Prosthetic-Wearing Runners Faster

Running blades are designed to enhance the performance of running amputees to the point where, in many cases, they can outperform their able-bodied counterparts. Looking to further enhance the performance of prosthetic-wearing runners, Nike and Össur, makers of the Flex-Run prosthetic running blades, worked together to create the Sole. More information after the jump.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Andrew Mitchell's "Ultra-Long Distance" Wheelchair Concept

Andrew Mitchell's concept for an "ultra-long distance" wheelchair is an elegant take on a racing wheelchair. The main objectives when designing this wheelchair were to provide comfort and optimal performance for its user, it has to be more than just an aspirational stylistic experiment. To push the wheelchair along, tracking motion is required and comfort of the user is paramount.  More information and images after the jump.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brave Scooter Driver Tackles Washington Highway

The above picture was taken during a recent snowy day on a highway around Spokane, Washington.  In the middle of a traffic jam on a highway, here is a guy who is traveling in his Medline Strider scooter getting through the gridlock!

Monday, January 16, 2012

NYC Unveils VPG MV-1 Taxi

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently unveiled VPG's MV-1 that has recently been approved for taxi and limousine duty in the city.  Other cities, such as Philadelphia, have also recently approved this vehicle for taxi and limo use.  Currently New York City has placed 30 MV-1s for test usage in their Access-A-Ride program, a program that is criticized by many disabled New Yorkers as being too costly and impractical for the disabled population to use.  More information after the jump.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coming Soon: Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D

The Nitro Circus crew is a group of extreme athletes/stuntpeople/adrenaline junkies that have traveled all over the world in order to some of the most insane and over the top stunts that have never been attempted.  In the case of this blog, one of the members of this crew happens to be Aaron Fotheringham. You can see the Hardcore Sitter about a minute and a half into the trailer as he attempts to drive his manual wheelchair through a complete loop.  It is hopefully only a taste of the epic insanity that Aaron and the rest of the crew have in store.  To add to the spectacle of this production, this movie will be shown in 3D. Check out the trailer above!