After four years of research and development, Kevin Halsall has finally unveiled his incredible new invention. The New Zealand native has created a hands free prototype wheelchair for his friend Marcus Thompson, who was paralyzed after a skiing accident. The OGO is a mix of a wheelchair and a Segway that balances on two wheels, adjusting and moving as the person sitting in the chair leans forward, backward, or side to side. Halsall, who is an engineer by trade, purchased a Segway, disassembled the device and then reconstructed it around a wheelchair.
“It’s one of the life affirming things that this machine does, it puts you in touch with your whole body again,” Mr. Thompson said.
The OGO has a top speed of 12 miles per hour and the wheels can even be swapped out for off-road capabilities. Its’ heavy duty battery gives it an expected range of almost 18 miles and the lightweight frame makes it easy to transport. The OGO is a finalist in the National Innovators Awards and is in the process of being made available for purchase. A price has yet to be determined, but Mr. Halsall wants to keep it as low as possible so the OGO is affordable for those who need it.
On Thursday, October 8, 2015, join MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh for their 10th Annual Mobility Expo. The event will take place at our MobilityWorks Pittsburgh store located at 1090 Mosside Blvd. in Wall, PA from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.
The special one-day event will honor our veterans for their service, as well as bring together a unique blend of personal wellness advocates, mobility experts and transportation solutions under one roof.
The day will feature more than 20 exhibitors, entertainment by Whiskey 101, catering by Steel City Steakhouse and special event specials and discounts. For more information, or to register for the event, please call 412-824-8220.
AMF Bruns of America Protektor® Brings New Easy-to-Use, Self-Tensioning Wheelchair Securement System to the USA Market
For over fifty years the family owned businesses of AMF Bruns have been providing the safest, fastest and easiest to use wheelchair restraint systems worldwide. AMF Bruns serves our customers by providing products that ensure a safe and efficient mobility experience.
Today AMF Bruns is recognized world wide as a leader in adaptive driving restraints and products. With their own in-house crash testing facilities, AMF Bruns products meet worldwide certifications of ISO 10542, SAE J2249, CSA Z605 and AS 2942.
Always an innovator in the industries they serve, AMF Bruns has pioneered several restraint products that have revolutionized the industry.
The Protektor® Restraint System retractors are easy to use and interchangeable. They function with any mounting system or vehicle. The retractors are built with a long lasting protected chrome cover. They are self-tensioning and self-locking with no hand tightening; making installation easy and can even be operated with only one hand.
The system also utilizes lap and shoulder belts, similar to a traditional restraint system to keep the passenger safely in the chair when the vehicle should stop suddenly or experience an impact.
Revolutionary flooring product offered by MobilityWorks now available for Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit commercial van platforms.
Whenever someone sees the Transit Works SmartFloor™ product for the first time and begins to grasp the benefits of being able to quickly rearrange the seating, or remove them altogether, there’s always an ‘aha’ moment.
Inside most of the newer MobilityWorks commercial fleet vehicles, the SmartFloor that’s being installed will provide its new owner/operator with more flexibility than they’ve ever had before. That flexibility will result in operational savings and better service to the customer.
Instead of having all of the seating permanently bolted to the floor, a transportation company or fleet owner now has the option to quickly rearrange the interior layout and re-purpose the vehicle for a different function in literally a matter of minutes.
In the case of a wheelchair transportation provider (such as an assisted living center), there may only be a few occasions every week where they need to have two wheelchair positions available, while the remaining passengers typically being transported need bench seating. If given notice that a second wheelchair passenger is being picked up, they can easily remove the necessary bench seats and re-install them when the trip is completed. This reduces the number of total trips being made. For the wheelchair community, that means better service because providers will be able to quickly adapt to changing needs.
With this type of flexibility, the SmartFloor installed on the Ram ProMaster or the Ford Transit really is a smart decision. The SmartFloor is a patented product available exclusively in North America from Transit-Works and its certified bus, OEM and mobility dealers across America.
For more information on the SmarFloor for Commercial Vans, call Transit Works at 1-855-337-9543.
The Need and Desire for Independence is the Mother of All Mobility Inventions
Most of us have seen the latest Mercedes-Benz ‘Smart Car’ on the road these past few years, but did you know that a wheelchair microcar was invented back in the 1950s? Along with entrepreneurs like Ralph Braun, the founder of today’s BraunAbility minivan conversions, people were simply looking for ways to be independent with whatever means they could. Vans for wheelchair drivers simply weren’t available.
Back in October of 1956, Harold Young of Downey California was featured in a Modern Mechanix magazine article with his three wheel, 10HP wheelchair accessible microcar that he drove on city streets for many years. The hand controls he installed were a push-stop, pull-to-go lever design, similar to the mechanical driving aids being used today. Hooks attached the dashboard were used to secure the wheelchair in place.
Fast Forward to 2015…
The Kenguru shown above is a Hungarian designed, electric powered micro-vehicle with a top speed of 25 mph. It can travel around 60 miles per day, but is not legal on roads above 35, depending on local restrictions. For practicality purposes, it appears to have more of a golf-cart application, perhaps for getting around in senior living communities, than for actual road use. It has a motorcycle-like handlebar steering design with a throttle for acceleration.
The Kenguru has been reported to be coming to the United States by the efforts of former attorney, now entrepreneur, Stacy Zoern of Austin, TX. Stacey was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and has been in a wheelchair her entire life. She formed a company call Community Cars based in Texas to manufacture and distribute the vehicles. When it becomes available, the single-passenger wheelchair microcar will cost somewhere around $20-$25k. Community Cars is also designing a model that will be controlled by a joystick or small-diameter steering wheel for those with limited upper body strength. for more information, go to Kenguru.com
The “Ride-in Canta” (Inrij Canta) shown above is a wheelchair microcar from the Netherlands developed in 1995 by Waaijenberg, a company that specializes in a variety of smaller vehicles (for disabled and able-bodied customers). Equipped with a rear-entry ramp, the Canta pneumatically raises up off the ground when the engine is started and the driver is ready to move . It comes with a Honda 5-stroke, 160cc engine (200cc optional) and has a top speed of 28 mph. Canta hand controls can be placed on the left or right side, depending on the need.
In the Netherlands, the Canta is legal to be used be used on cycle paths and sidewalks as a mobility aid. A driver’s license is not required. There are no known plans to bring the Canta to the United States.
Editors note: Modern Mechanix magazine’s last published issue was their March/April edition in 2001.