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Coming soon the Ogo electric wheelchair from down under

Do you remember the Segway ? heralded as a new mode of transport back in 2001 it has now become the core of a new electric wheelchair concept thanks to the team who have designed it down in New Zealand.

In the next month or two this new powerchair is due for release and will be available commercially for the first time. Described by occupational therapists as very exciting, the Ogo electric wheelchair is also described as a personal transportation system and combines the unique active moving seat control system with the very best of self-balancing technology to form a powerchair that can be controlled by body movements.

Although the Ogo really doesn’t look like a regular electric wheelchair, it does however appear to fill a gap that exists for powerchair users who want a bit more freedom and something more challenging. It won't suit all electric wheelchair users although it may well massively enhance the lifestyle of many, allowing more freedom and more scope.

If you are already thinking the Ogo electric wheelchair is not for you because it requires good use of your core muscles to steer it then don’t worry. This powerchair comes with a choice of three types of control, hands-free, seat steer or joystick control.

The hands free capability is the big attraction to me. Most forms of mobility scooter and electric wheelchair require one or both hands to be in use all the time to drive and steer the mobility aid. With the Ogo both hands remain free, opening up a plethora of opportunities for sport and outdoor pursuits. In fact looking at their videos, you may want your hands to hang on as this electric wheelchair seems to be able to go places no other powerchair has ventured before !

See more Ogo videos here

By using your core and upper body muscles you are able to both steer and control the pace of the Ogo electric wheelchair. This balance requirement is what makes this powerchair different and for those who are able, it will help them to keep strength in their core muscles. When used in normal conditions on a footpath this requirement is fairly minimal. However, move to a more challenging terrain and you will need to brace yourself and hang on as the Ogo becomes an off road monster that can go just about anywhere, with the ability to tackle soft sandy surfaces, loose gravel, rough terrain and steep inclines. In relative the Ogo powerchair is relatively small and light in weight yet it is potentially faster than most other powered mobility devices and electric wheelchairs.

The Ogo seems to beat traditional powered wheelchair is many ways. Firstly it has a huge range, potentially up to 40 km / 24.8 miles on a single charge. Secondly it achieves reasonable speeds of 20 kph / 12 mph which is far greater than any other production electric wheelchair on the market. SO where can the Ogo be used ? It is designed to be used for where ever pedestrians can access. It can be used as a primary or secondary wheelchair, medical aid, a toy, a piece of sports and recreational equipment.

What is nice about the way the Ogo is being marketed is that it is not simply a piece of mobility equipment nor an electric wheelchair. Instead it is being promoted to able bodied folk as well as those with disabilities, which, when you think about its removes stigma attached to using a mobility aid such as a powerchair. If folk who are not wheelchair users become frequent users then any user of the Ogo will not be assumed to be disabled nor a wheelchair user.

One restriction of the Ogo is the weight restriction of 110 KG which equates to about 17 stone, however there are plans afoot to make a model for heavier users. In the UK the speed will be restricted to in the United Kingdom it is limited to 4mph/6.5 kph.

Ogo  state Ogo is not just about the users. Family and friends of those who have trialed the Ogo love it too. They have told us that their homes are a happier and healthier environment - that Ogo means more freedom and independence for them and increased opportunities to get back into activities they had given up - walking the bush trails, rediscovering the  beaches and parks, shopping. Just participating in life with their partners. “Grabbing life by the wheels”.

So if you are in the market for a new electric wheelchair and can afford to wait a month or two then you might like to consider the Ogo ! Or if you are looking for a more regular powerchair please visit here.