Similar to the Solo Wheelchair I featured awhile back, we have another electric wheelchair concept disguised as a manual wheelchair. The Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair is a creation of Monash University design student, Jack Martinich. Standard manual wheelchairs can fold in half but they’re still bulky and the leg rests may need to come off. Electric wheelchairs aren’t nearly as nimble. Martinich’s design is a compact electric wheelchair concept that can fold into itself within the diameter of its wheels.
Mobi works like a standard manual wheelchair where the user still uses their arms to propel the wheels. At the base of the wheels though is a battery powered mechanism to help move the wheels forward or backward. With only two wheels, you may wonder if there is a risk of tipping forward or backward. Gyroscope technology like in the Segway solves this problem and keeps everything balanced.
There is no hub and the wheels are partially enclosed in an aluminum and PVC frame. The seat and back are made from cushiony polyurethane foam and can be covered in vinyl, neoprene, or leather. Studded and textured footrests fold out from the wheel frames. Though I would like to see the footrests be able to swivel to match the orientation of the user’s feet.
Once folded, Mobi can be easy to transport because of its compact size. Being made of lightweight materials, overall weight shouldn’t be too much. The weight of the batteries could be the variable here though.
I am of the generation that grew up when Transformers were first introduced back in the 80s. They are popular again with blockbuster movies and pretty everyone knows about them now. Mobi kind of reminds me of a Transformer. Sort of a wheelchair Transformer or if you’re into Star Wars, a Droideka (Google it). Anyway I think this is a cool wheelchair concept design that speaks to the geek in me.