Meet the Whill Type-A. The product of a small group of engineers who worked at Japanese electronics companies and automakers - they started off with a motorized add-on for conventional wheelchairs three years ago - it's not a wheelchair, but a four-wheel-drive personal mobility device focused on style and maneuverability.
Small enough to fit in the back of a crossover or a car with a healthy rear end, it is just 23.6 inches wide, 32.5 inches long and has a turning radius of 28 inches. The tight swivel is thanks to its counter-rotating Omni Wheels in front, each of which is made up of 24 individual wheels that can slide sideways. Because those front wheels are powered, it helps the Whill handle dirt, gravel, grass and light snow, and it can climb inclines of ten degrees.
Whill has been designed with a number of convenience features: the seat slides fore and aft, the arm can be raised for easy entry, there are a back lights for increased visibility, hooks for backpacks and bags and slots for accessories like a cup holder and a light. On top of that, there are three control units available: a mouse, a joystick or an ergonomic controller. It's batteries can be charged in five hours and are good for a 15-mile trip.
The group behind Whill is running a Kickstarter campaign; as of writing, they'd gotten $11,200 of the $30,000 goal. They say the hardware is complete, the funds they're after now will go toward finishing the development of the software and the iPhone app, the latter of which will allow users to control the Whill remotely. The videos below will put pictures to words, or head on over to Whill's Kickstarter page for the deep rundown.