Israeli 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