Self-Balancing Wheelchair goes Hands-Free
Posted by ROLAND REZNIK on March 29, 2016. 0 Comments
Kevin Halsall was inspired to design a hands-free wheelchair after observing his good friend having difficulties with a standard wheelchair. Halsall decided he wanted to make his friend’s life better and used his skills and expertise to develop the Ogo. The Ogo is an intuitive hands-free wheelchair that provides users with maximum independence and freedom of movement.
The unique feature of the Ogo is the impressive active moving seat hands-free control system. Halsall used kiwi ingenuity and self-balancing technology to create this innovative wheelchair. It allows the user to control the wheelchair by using body movements such as leaning forward to make the chair go forward, lean back in the seat to reverse and lean left or right to turn.
In addition to the hands-free control system, it also provides plenty of exercise for the user. The action of moving left, right, forward and back allows the user to build strong core muscles. Occupational Therapists worldwide are celebrating due to the health benefits it provides consumers.
Another exciting feature of the Ogo is the ability to become an all-terrain wheelchair. A quick change of the wheels and the user can go almost anywhere. The Ogo is built to handle inclines, rough terrains, gravel and soft sand. It allows those with mobility issues to reach areas and locations they found to be a huge obstacle in the past.
Halsall kept in mind that users may become tired from moving their body in different directions. For this reason, he invented a thumb-controlled joystick that can be installed on either side of the wheelchair.
Once Halsall understood how beneficial his invention is to his friend, he started thinking about others with mobility issues. He designed five prototypes that cater to specific needs of varying levels of disability. He is consulting with quadriplegics, paraplegics, quad amputees and others with mobility issues to create prototypes.
Halsall was able to create the Ogo for people with lower-level spinal injuries. He now is focusing on fundraising efforts to allow him to create more prototypes. Halsall reported 2015 was a good year for the Ogo. He was able to promote his fundraising efforts on a YouTube channel which received over a million views and sparked donations.
Halsall’s story also got attention from a variety of news outlets worldwide allowing the unique technology and design captivate millions more. Even with all of the attention, Halsall continues to build mailing lists and promote the Ogo consistently. He won two innovation contests in one year.
Halsall’s goal is to create more Ogo wheelchairs and extend test programs using prototypes. He already has five prototypes that will be available for testing in New Zealand’s main cities. The prototypes include features such as push-button power controls and automatic shut down when the user gets off the seat. If things go as planned Halsall hopes for a September 2017 delivery date to supporters and consumers.
Halsall and his team encourage those who are interested in helping them bring this technology to wheelchair users around the world to please visit his website www.ogotechnology.com for more information.