Climbing stairs with a wheelchair

Although this project does not totally match with the main focus of our research topic, we still like to take a closer look to the iBot (Individual Balancing Optimized Transporter). As a four wheeled chair, it bumps up kerbstones. On two wheels it raises the user to the height of an able-bodied person and glides along the pavement at up to 10 miles per hour.


Six on-board gyroscopes sense the user tilting her/his body backwards and forwards to control the chair’s motor to climb up and down a flight of stairs. The electronic balance system is adapted to the user’s centre of gravity, allowing the device to constantly realign and adjust its wheel position and seat orientation.

Disability expert professor Martin Ferguson Pell (University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitaion Medicine) states: “One of the big things this chair enables you to do is hold your own with everyone else – maintain height – order drinks without feeling different.”

About designabilities

DESIGNABILITIES is an open-access journal established since 2009, managed and edited by....
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