Japanese Futuristic Wheelchair- “Smart Mobility Robot”
The Veda International Robot Research and Development Centre, Japan, had been hard at work for a couple of years now, designing the much hyped “Wheelchair of the Future”. And the wait is finally over- Japanese Robotics company, Tmsuk has now unveiled the four-wheeled Rodem.
The robotic wheelchair gives you a piggyback ride that not only makes it easier to climb aboard, but puts you in a high, forward-mounted position. It’s easier to brush your teeth, make breakfast or just hold face-to-face conversations.
“While conventional wheelchairs give a hug, the Rodem gives a piggyback,” Tmsuk President Yoichi Takamoto said.
By separately controlling the four wheels and using omni-wheels, the robot has a small turning radius and can even turn on the spot. Buttons and a joystick on the front side are used to move the robot and move up/down the seat.
The Rodem can also be controlled using a smartphone so that you can call it to you when you need. It also features a 9.3-mile range before needing to be recharged, and can go up to speeds of 3.7MPH, although it does have an 8 hour charge time which means that you will probably need to plan your day in advance lest you run out of juice halfway.
The robot can be charged by using a 100V domestic power source. After being charged for eight hours, it can travel 15km or more. Its maximum speed is 6km/h. The robot can clime up a slope of up to about 10° and move over a height difference of about 4cm. As a rechargeable battery, it uses a lead-acid battery.
There are also some limitations to its use, where those who lack upper body mobility probably won’t have much use for it. The Rodem is currently available in Japan where it is priced at ¥980,000 (about $8,700), and is expected to eventually find its way to the UK in 2018.