Toyota and Dean Kamen relaunch iBOT balancing wheelchair
As you might expect, then, the latest version of Kamen's iBOT is capable of balancing on two of its wheels. But it can also climb stairs, raise from a seated position to a six-foot standing position, and move across varied terrain, including grass and dirt. This is the second generation of iBOT, the first having ended production in 2009 due in part to its high cost of $25,000. There's no word on pricing for the new reborn iBot.
Under the terms of DEKA and Toyota's agreement, the Japanese automaker "will license balancing technologies held by DEKA and its affiliate for medical rehabilitative therapy and potentially other purposes." We doubt it will have anything to do with actual cars – unless perhaps something that's deployed out of a hatchback – but such an agreement could still lead to some interesting developments. Here's hoping this kind of enhanced mobility will be made available to a wide variety of potential buyers.
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