Stair-climbing wheelchairs can take people with limited mobility to an entirely new level of independence. These wheelchairs, which are as much robots as conventional wheelchairs, can actually climb curbs and stairs. In order to get the most out of a stair-climbing wheelchair, you must make sure that you are physically capable of using one correctly and that you understand the boundaries of the technology.
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Stair-climbing wheelchairs use a series of computers, cameras and other machinery to sense the location of stairs and curbs. Once the software has processed the obstacle, the chair literally transforms so that the occupant is in a semi-upright position and the wheels can climb end over end over the curb or up the stair. The user shifts her weight to handle the speed of the climb and to direct the chair in all the movements.
Stair-climbing wheelchairs are extremely flexible in terms of their uses. They can be used for multiple purposes, and can also function as conventional wheelchairs. They are ideal for rough terrain and are uniquely calibrated to the user's weight, height and physical abilities.
There are two types of stair-climbing wheelchairs. One type actually "shape shifts" at the push of a button and can manoeuvre the user into an upright or a sitting position to help him navigate different terrains. The other type uses all four wheels basically all of the time, but these wheels can be managed using weight shifting so that the user can climb up or down stairs or climb over objects.
When you are considering investing in a stair-climbing wheelchair, remember that there are certain physical requirements to using this type of machine. Your chair will need to be set to your specific weight, height and muscle capabilities in order to be safe and effective for you. If you weigh in excess of 90.7 Kilogram, most stair-climbing wheelchairs will not respond reliably to your physical needs and commands, so it may be necessary to shed weight or build muscle before you are ready to use a stair-climbing wheelchair.
Many people believe that once they are limited or "confined" to a wheelchair, their independent lives are over. Now, more than ever before, this is simply untrue. Stair-climbing wheelchairs enable many people not only to live on their own, but even to remain in their own houses and live and move with total independence.
Stair-climbing wheelchairs are extremely sensitive pieces of machinery. You should never "try out" someone else's stair-climbing wheelchair as you can upset the calibrations so that the chair will no longer respond to their commands. If you are interested in stair-climbing wheelchairs, work with your doctor and an expert to help you find the right machine for you.
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