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Monthly Archives: January 2018

  • The Rodem electric wheelchair from Japanese makers Tmsuk

    Every so often we here of a new take on the traditional wheelchair design and generally speaking a single proto type is built and tested and the new fangled wheelchair design goes no further.

    Now over to Japan, the home of innovative invention, where a new wheelchair concept has been developed which makes it far different to the traditional wheelchair that we see in various guises today.

    What makes this new design altogether different is the seating position which requires the user to sit on it rather than in it and the rider adopts a position more like you would when riding a bicycle or a horse with one leg either side of the main body.

    At first glimpse, this wheelchair design looks very strange but when you look in to the reasoning then it becomes clearer why this new style may be of benefit to some wheelchair users.

    Japanese manufacturer Tmsuk has come up with the Rodem model, which puts the users in a higher forward mounted position and as Tmsuk claim makes it easier for a user to get on and off the wheelchair without the help of a carer.

    Firstly we should point out that this is a powerchair or an electric wheelchair. Secondly we can announce that it will be available to a lucky few in the UK this year - 2018.

    Having been in development since 2009, Tmsuks Rodem wheelchair has come a long way and is now ready for some real action. The makers claim that many everyday tasks are made so much easier by way of the users position on the wheelchair.

    From brushing your teeth to eating at a table the Rodem attempts to make the experience easier by allowing the users body to be nearer the front of the wheelchair, thus nearer to the job at hand. Its seat is height adjustable allowing you to size uo to the job at hand with ease. The wheelbase of the Rodem is short, making turning in tight places far easier than other powerchairs.

    Tmsuk’s Rodem mobility robot as it is sometimes referred to is already available in Japan and is gaining interest fast. At a cost of about 900,000 YEN or £6000 it is not cheap but does come with some very flash looks and will be available in the UK in a choice of 6 colours. Being Japanese and electric it also comes with a host of techno trickery including the ability to park it and call it back remotely from your smartphone !

    Once the Rodem wheelchair has arrived in front of you the long sweeping handles allow you to reach forward to pull yourself on to the long saddle style seat. Once seated, you can then adjust your seat height to suit the next task at hand, raising or lowering it to allow you to be best suited to the job at hand. Then using a joystick controller you can move the Rodem wheelchair with ease much like controlling any other powerchair.

    The seat can also be tilted forward, again to ensure that you are in the right position to make things easier. This also allows you to get closer to what you are doing without having to lean forward or cause discomfort.

    When it comes to transferring  yourself out of the wheelchair, again the handles are long and positioned to allow you to transfer yourself with ease. We know that this will not suit all wheelchair users and that levels of mobility vary enormously. But we can see some clear merits in its design and hope that it provides some benefits to users who decide to take up the Tmsuks Rodem electric wheelchair.

  • Apples new App for wheelchair users

    For many folk simply getting by each day in a wheelchair is hard enough but for some who are keen on their fitness then this may be of interest as Apple have released an app for their I Phones that helps wheelchair users to track and improve on their fitness levels.

    There are some younger wheelchair users who are keen on fitness and do not let their disability, permanent or temporary, to get in their way or to stop them from working on their fitness levels.

    The Apple workout App has been developed for wheelchair users and allows them to set goals as you do with many other fitness Apps and also track movement accurately. This includes specific routines of exercise and allows wheelchair users to set the app based on both time calories and distance travelled.

    For more information why not visit the Apple accessibility site here

    There are two modes to this App, one for indoor use and one for outdoor wheelchair use. The App works with the new Apple watches in conjunction with I Phones. The App goes on to help with other disabilities including Vision impairment and those with hearing disabilities. These features include having texts read for you and opting to receive notifications by vibration rather than audible bleeps.

    Back to the benefits for wheelchair users, the App offers a daily snapshot of daily activity and monitors Roll, Exercise, and Move and actively encourages to make improvements in each of these areas. Instead of a static goal, the App encourages wheelchair users to roll or stretch each hour. When it comes to propelling yourself in the wheelchair it measures 'push' and takes account of changes to types of surface, any inclines, and transition moments where transfers to and from the wheelchair to a desk or car are also monitored.

  • Let me on the train with my wheelchair

    Good old Baroness Grey-Thompson, or Tanni as she is better known, doesn’t have the best of luck when it comes to wheelchair travel on public transport. This time in the run up to Christmas Tanni was going about her day as per normal in her wheelchair when she needed to get on the train run by Virgin but was stopped by a passenger already on the train.

    Tanni, who uses trains frequently in her wheelchair was trying to board the train when she was abruptly barred because she was in a wheelchair and that there was 'no room for her' even though everyone else on the platform managed to get on to the same train.

    Two days before Christmas you have to wonder whatever happened to festive spirit and goodwill to all men but sure enough Baroness Grey-Thompson was left on the platform rather displeased and still in her wheelchair but going nowhere. Instead the Paralympian wheelchair racer who also is a parliamentarian and a television presenter simply kept her calm and tweeted “Merry Christmas to the person on the train who just stopped me getting on"

    In a number of tweets that followed she explained that she was shocked beyond belief at the attitude of the passenger who effectively who blocked her from boarding the carriage.

    So for those of you who also travel on Virgin below is the information on their policy for wheelchair users including a help line number:

    Telephone:

    08000 158 123 or Textphone 08000 158 124

    Policy:

    Length: 1200mm (3ft 11in approx)

    Width: 700mm (2ft 3in approx)

    So, there is no excuse now for anyone not to be a little more helpful towards wheelchair users on public transport. With Tani’s wheelchair racing back ground the fact is she could probably have got to her destination quicker in her racing wheelchair !

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