Information compiled by: Rachel Anderson, Marketing & Communications Manager for Ability Tools
Last Spring, the staff of Ability Tools had the chance to test drive this new personal mobility device – the WHILL – and listen to the founder explain why and how they invented this new design for a wheelchair. Check out our first blog about WHILL by clicking here.
WHILL is called a new personal mobility device – not called a wheelchair – and it does have a unique sleek design making it look like the future is here. This design is purposeful, as the founders and creators of the WHILL wanted to invent a device that was functional and comfortable, but also very modern, as they pointed out the design of the basic wheelchair has not been significantly altered for many years. Perhaps even more importantly and meaningful to me was the fact that they wanted to change the perception people have of wheelchair users – as in the stigma that can still exist in our societies.
WHILL’s mission states that it is “…To make technology that is minimalistic, functional and stylish. We intend to fundamentally change the attitudes of personal mobility users, as well as the general perceptions of personal mobility”.
Some of the more unique features of WHILL that differentiate it from other power wheelchairs include:
- All direction four wheel drive and minimal turning radius.
- Unique and larger front wheels that can maneuver over rough terrains and steep hills as well as grass, dirt, gravel, wood-chips, and snow.
- An “Acceleration Management System” that allows users to customize the speed and movement of their WHILL – can also do this via an app on your smart device.
- The arms glide up to give the user more space to move and to sit at tables, desks, etc.
- The seat glides forward and backwards, allowing for smoother transfers and table seating.
- Choice of mouse-controller or ergonomic joystick controller – interchangeable for right and left-handed users.
- Subtle hanger on the backrest holds a large bag/backpack so you can keep your belongings safe.
Check out this video (closed captioning available) with Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, on the future and importance of personal mobility devices:
Also, check out more about WHILL on their website at: http://whill.us/home/.