Wheeling Up The Stairs

I’m sure by now that anyone who pays attention to social media has seen or heard of this revolutionary Topchair, billed as the only stair climbing wheelchair. The unfortunately no longer available iBot machine performed stair-climbing and other feats in an elegant and stylish manner. And while the Scalamobil requires assistance, it can get you and your chair up any staircase. The Topchair was featured on The Huffington Post, under a headline proclaiming that it would “make the world a bit more accessible for everyone.” I was ready to point out all of it’s shortcomings – indeed, I was in the process of writing this entry only to find that it was more impressive than I thought. I’m sure it is going to be expensive and beyond the reach of most wheelers (not available to “everyone,” and not yet available in the US), but it looks far less ungainly (more gainly?) and clumsy than I thought it would. After watching several YouTube videos of the chair in action, I am only left wondering how it will perform in a small restaurant, or the typical handicapped restroom stall. Those are considerations when considering any new ride – witness the wheelchair or scooter conundrum.

I appreciate the spirit of innovation that continues to improve and expand mobility for wheelers. I look forward to a day when such innovation will be available to all of us. And what I’d really like to see is a simple wheel that does not roll backwards when climbing a ramp or hill. I’d happily spring for that.

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Author: Stephen

Stephen Harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in Maine.

2 thoughts on “Wheeling Up The Stairs”

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