Another interesting and innovative wheelchair we saw at Naidex is the new hybrid wheelchair from Z-Tec, known as the ZT-EC6.
Due for release in late August
This wheelchair looks a little unusual at first sight and then you realise why, it has not 4 but 6 wheels ! The reason for this is because it converts from a fully functional self propelled wheelchair in to a transit wheelchair in seconds by simply removing the rear wheels.
You might think who is this type of wheelchair intended for as most users suit either a transit or a self propelled wheelchair but as we thought this thru it does make sense to offer both types in a single unit.
If like most wheelchair users, you are aiming to maximise your freedom and minimise your reliance on others then a self propelled wheelchair is the obvious choice. Being able to propel yourself using the hand rims is of course empowering and allows you to get on in most conditions and go about your daily life. There are however certain situations when a transit wheelchair is far more suitable.
If for example you commute or travel frequently then a transit wheelchair is far more suitable if you are with an attendant. With the hybrid you really do have the best of both worlds, the large quick release self propelled wheels can be easily removed and put in a transport bag that can be hung from the wheelchairs push handles. This leaves you on the solid 18cm castors front and back making it a very manoeuvrable wheelchair for you and your attendant.
Most other features of this hybrid wheelchair are fairly standard and include swing away and removable footrests, flip up arm rests to assist in transfer to and from the wheelchair. In transit mode, it uses all four 18cm wheels and then comes with 60cm wheels with hand rims for use as a self propelled wheelchair. With a fold down backrest the wheelchair can be easily stored and transported. Other features include side skirts to keep your clothing away from the wheels, a lap belt for added security, heel loops and a parking brake.
We think that this hybrid approach will be of great benefit to certain users and provide the function of both a transit and self propelled model in one wheelchair.