High-tech Wheelchair Can Move in Any Direction [Video]
The Permoveh (Personal Mobile Vehicle) is an omnidirectional electric wheelchair developed by Kyoto University. As demonstrated by professor Komori Masaharu it displays great maneuverability allowing the driver to move backwards, forwards and diagonally in any direction, making it suitable navigating small spaces. The chair achieves this by the use of four omnidirectional tires.
The tires of the wheels consist of rollers, the wheels move the chair back and forth, while the rollers move it from side to side, when both the wheels and the roller spin, the chair moves diagonally. We’ve seen omnidirectonal tires before (ex. on Honda’s U3-X) but this is the first time we’ve seen it used in a personal mobility device. As you can image this prototype was pretty expensive, costing a whopping $36,300. They hope to get the cost down to $12,000 and make the Permoveh commercially available in the next 3 to 5 years.