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    Japanese Robot-Like Wheelchair Features Tracks Instead of Wheels

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    A Japanese robot-like wheelchair features tracks instead of wheels.

    A Japanese technology company, Nano-Optonics Energy is working to change the visual perception of a wheelchair.

    Their newest mobile product is an electric, single seat wheelchair that uses rubber treads, similar to those on heavy equipment, only thinner. Those tracks help the wheelchair handle rougher ground terrain, making it capable of doing a little off-roading through gravel and dirt.

    The seat is able to travel at speeds up to 4 miles per hour and it can surprisingly climb 6 inch stairs. The new wheelchair is definitely a step up from traditional ones out there, but it may not hit the public market for some time.

    Nano-Optonics hopes to sell the chairs to hospitals and medical centers where patients can use them.

    Last year, another robot-like wheelchair concept was unveiled. The Chiba Institute of Technology developed the chair, equipped with a rotating base with 5 axes.

    Each wheel could be lifted off the ground individually to move in a climbing or walking fashion. Sensors on the wheelchair allowed it to pick up obstacles and maneuver around them automatically.