Latest in Gear

Image credit: Designed by Simon Mckeown with Craig McMullen

Toyota unveils finalists in $4 million quest to reinvent wheelchairs

There are also potential breakthroughs in exoskeletons.
1781 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Designed by Simon Mckeown with Craig McMullen

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.

Gallery: Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge finalists | 5 Photos

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.

The finalists each receive $500,000 to help develop their products. You'll have to wait until 2020 (conveniently in time for the Olympics) to hear about the winner, who receives $1 million for their efforts. There's no guarantee that these projects will come to fruition, but they all show that accessibility has plenty of room to grow.

Follow all the latest news from CES 2019 here!

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1781 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

View
Gene editing tool could treat many diseases created by mutations

Gene editing tool could treat many diseases created by mutations

View
Volvo's Polestar engineered XC60 is fast, but still reserved

Volvo's Polestar engineered XC60 is fast, but still reserved

View
Netflix thriller 'Clickbait' will explore the dark side of social networks

Netflix thriller 'Clickbait' will explore the dark side of social networks

View
'Dota 2' champions won more money than top Wimbledon players

'Dota 2' champions won more money than top Wimbledon players

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr