Iranian engineers develop electric stair climbing wheelchairs

January 3, 2018

TEHRAN – A group of Iranian engineers have developed the technology for manufacturing electronic stair climbing wheelchairs as well as electric hand-cycles.

The aforementioned technologies have been developed with the aim of facilitating the daily activities of wheelchair users, said the project manager Farhad Foturehchi, ISNA reported on Sunday.

Comparing electronic hand-cycles with fully electric wheelchairs, Foturehchi explained that the hand-cycle would turn the folding lightweight manual wheelchair into a wheelchair with a maximum speed of 30 km/h (compared to maximum speed of 6 km/h in electric wheelchairs) which can easily fit into a car. 

Equipped with a rechargeable battery and seat belt, the electric stair climbing wheelchair have weight carrying capacity of 100 kg, Foturehchi said.

If fully charged, the power wheelchairs can climb 720 stairs carrying the average weight of 75 kg, he highlighted, adding, the wheelchair has met international standards of Iran’s medical equipment department.

The newly homegrown power wheelchair can climb standard stairs with the maximum height of 22 cm and with the speed of 15 stairs per minute.

“Domestically produced electric hand-cycle, which can attach to manual wheelchairs and convert them into electric ones, is another achievement of our research team,” he noted.

Comparing electronic hand-cycles with fully electric wheelchairs, Foturehchi explained that the hand-cycle would turn the folding lightweight manual wheelchair into a wheelchair with a maximum speed of 30 km/h (compared to maximum speed of 6 km/h in electric wheelchairs) which can easily fit into a car. 

Based on the figures reported by Iran’s Welfare Organization some 1.5 million people suffering multiple disabilities are living in Iran. Unfortunately people with disabilities cannot always easily access sidewalks, office buildings, and transportation. 

However, as per a newly adopted law on rights of people with disabilities all responsible organizations are tasked with making public buildings and public transport disability friendly and accessible. Also constructors are required to consider provisions for disabled persons in their new building. Violators will be fined accordingly. 

If properly enforced the law might prove to be effective in a long run. 

MAH/MQ/MG

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