Toyota Unveils Finalists In $4 Million Quest To Reinvent Wheelchairs
Toyota’s ongoing bid to modernize wheelchairs has borne some fruit. The automaker has unveiled the five finalists for its $4 million Mobility Unlimited Challenge after three years of competition, and all of them promise to rethink how people with mobility issues get around — in some cases, without using a wheelchair at all. The project you see above is Qolo, a hybrid exoskeleton and wheelchair that can sit or stand. You could talk to standing people at eye level without losing the advantages of a conventional chair.
Other additions are similarly clever. Moby, an Italdesign-made service that would provide wheelchair users access to electric devices to help them get around town, much like a bike sharing company. The Phoenix Ai Ultralight Wheelchair can balance itself to reduce vibrations and reconfigure itself to stay in sync with the way you move. Quix is an exoskeleton that borrows perception tech from self-driving cars to provide movement you can’t get from current technology, while Evolution Devices’ Evowalk sleeve stimulates muscles to improve movement for people who’d otherwise have trouble walking.