SoftWheel Technology, an Israeli based startup company founded in 2011 by Gilad Wolf has developed a wheel chair, which is developed to overcome rocky surfaces and go down the stairs. The main goal of making this wheel chair is to make life easy and comfortable for wheel chair user or physically challenged person. This Wheel Chair will be distributed to the needy absolutely free and to do so SoftWheel has collaborated with The Independence Fund and manufacturer Resolute Adaptive. The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization, which provides high-tech care facility to veterans.
This wheel chair is a special kind of wheel with selective suspension technology. “Selective, meaning that as long as you don’t need [the technology], it will work as any other wheel,” Daniel Barel, CEO of SoftWheel tells Geektime.
SoftWheel wheel chair comes with a distinct design, which allows the hub of the wheels to floats in mid-air, which leads to suspending its raider and chair from the road. For activating some specific suspension mechanism, it needs a certain threshold of impacts. Once the specific suspension mechanism is activated, the hub of the wheel moves from its original place to reduce the shock. Here wheel takes most of the shock and hits, not the raider and vehicles.
Due to this suspension, riding on this wheelchair becomes more comfortable and energy-efficient. According to Barrel, the vehicles that don’t support suspensions lose more than 30 percent of energy in moving forward. This SoftWheel Acrobat moves smoothly, while facing the obstacles, as this wheel chair doesn’t start and stop again and again to face the obstacle.
According to a report, more than 65 million people are confined to Wheelchair. So this sector can also be seen as good market for technology, as some entrepreneurs have shown interest in this sector.
SoftWheel is also planning to implement their wheel technology to some of the vehicles other than Wheel Chair. Barel has also told that, “We create technology that applies to anything that has a wheel” the founder of SoftWheel Gilad Wolf was a farmer, who broke his pelvis and was confined to the wheelchair. He wanted to make the wheel chair ride smooth and comfortable, so he pitched the idea to Rad Biomed Incubator, who is in the process of applying this technology to some more heavy vehicles like cranes, bicycles and electric cars. Expanding this technology to these vehicles will lead to larger business and wide market.