Compressed air-powered wheelchair set for splash

Apr 21, 2017, 5:20 AM EDT
(Source: Peter Pearson/flickr)
(Source: Peter Pearson/flickr)

A team at the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratories (H.E.R.L.) has designed a waterproof, motorized wheelchair that’s powered entirely by compressed air and is set to make a splash in a theme park for people with disabilities located in San Antonio, Texas.

The innovative design strips out the PneuChair of battery or other electronics, rendering it fit for water sports and outdoor recreation, the very reason a non-profit organization approached the researchers, writes Wonderful Engineering.

The PneuChair weighs about 36kg and takes 10 minutes for a complete recharge, which is relatively much quicker than conventional battery-powered wheelchairs, notes New Atlas. Rory Cooper, H.E.R.L. Director, says the PneuChair can have a transformative impact by allowing specially-abled people to safely access splash parks, water parks, beaches or pools.