New wheelchair lets you cruise through town standing

An employee stands on a wheelchair developed by Israeli company UPnRIDE Robotics, that enables paralysed people with limited function in their arms to stand upright, during a demonstration at their offices in YoqneamIsraeli technology start-up UPnRIDE Robotics is launching an innovative upright, self-stabilizing wheelchair at a medical conference in Germany next month and the company hopes the device will hit the market next year.

Before then, UPnRIDE needs to pass two clinical trials, one with the U.S. veteran association in New York, to help it get regulatory approval and ensure health insurance companies can assist customers with the hefty price tag.

The company was founded by Amit Goffer, 63, who created a robotic exoskeleton at his previous venture ReWalk Robotics that helps people paralyzed from the waist down to walk.

But Goffer, who has been confined to a wheelchair since an all-terrain vehicle accident in 1997, has never been able to use his first invention because his injuries left him with limited function in his arms.

With his new four-wheel chair, which uses a gyroscope similar to that in a two-wheeled Segway and self-stabilizing software, Goffer can maneuver upright over uneven urban terrain and join conversations face to face with people standing up.

By Ari Rabinovitch | Reuters

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About Peter Coffaro 1058 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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