Scalevo wheelchair uses retractable tracks to climb stairs
We’ve seen tracked wheelchairs before, that are able to take on steep or uneven terrain. For regular surfaces, however, wheels make more sense. That’s why a group of students from ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts are creating the Scalevo electric wheelchair, which features wheels for cruising and tracks for climbing stairs.
When on smooth ground, the Scalevo balances Segway-style on its two wheels – this setup aids in agility, allowing it to make sharp turns. Upon reaching a flight of stairs, however, its twin rubber tracks descend from its undercarriage to carry it over them. In order to keep the user level while this is happening, a set of pistons tilt the chair back relative to the tracks, compensating for the slant of the stairs.