Boffins at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute and Otto Bock GmbH have come up with a fantastic new way for the physically disabled to get about. Combining the functions of a wheelchair and a quadbike might sound mad, but for many disabled people it could offer the chance to leave the pavement behind, and go where they please without having to rely on assistance from a carer.
Christened the Superfourin by its inventors, the wheelchair-cum-ATV can climb gradients of 40%, or 1 in 2.5, without a problem and is able to traverse snow, mud, sand and rocky terrain. But they didn’t stop there. The nifty device is also fitted with an array of electronic wizardry, including pulse and blood pressure monitors and a GPS system. What’s more, if the driver gets stuck, is involved in an accident or suffers a medical problem, the vehicle automatically calls for assistance.
“This technology offers wheelchair users a level of freedom previously unavailable. Our test driver, a multiple sclerosis patient who has been wheelchair-bound for many years, was enthused. For the first time in a long time, he was able to visit the Thüringer Forest with his family without having to rely on outside help.”
Professor Jürgen Wernstedt, Fraunhofer Institute.
More info here: http://www.fraunhofer.de/fhg/EN/press/pi/2006/04/4-2006_Topic1.jsp
and here (German site)
Let’s hope it takes off – we’d love to put one of these on cover.
Adrian Flux was one of the first companies to offer good-value insurance for disabled drivers, way back in the 1970s and is also one of the few companies that cater for ATVs and quads through our special QuadSure division. You can get a quick quad quote by calling 0800 089 2000.