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.