Toyota used the occasion of the Paralyzed Veterans of America's 70th Annual Convention to show off a new iBOT wheelchair designed in collaboration with DEKA Research and Development. If the machine reminds you a little of the Segway, it should. DEKA is the company founded by Dean Kamen, creator of the two-wheeled, self-balancing electric device.

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.

Related Video:



From Our Partners

You May Like
Links by Zergnet
Share This Photo X