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Social operator creates a wheelchair that raises up users to put them face-to-face with standing people

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-05-13 08:51

About the solution

After working with young people suffering from mental and physical disabilities for nearly 20 years, Mario Vigentini invented a device to change their quality of life, the device raises up users so they are face-to-face with those standing.

Mario felt that this category of people was disheartened by the prejudice from others and he wanted to find a way to change the situation. “Trying to put an ergonomic seat -- like those from the Nordic countries that were very fashionable in the 1990s -- on a Segway," Mario said.

Mario was inspired by the Segway, the two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle, and created the MarioWay. The device is and hands-free two-wheeled kneeling chair.

"Nine out of ten people I talked to about this idea looked at me as if I came from another planet," he said.

A team including disabled people, was set up to study the ergonomics involved. Users of traditional wheelchairs are seated so that "the organs in the upper part of the trunk are compressed", while "almost the whole weight rests on the ischium" -- the lower and back part of the hip bone.

This position "aggravates the pathologies of people with disabilities and results in other issues; digestive, respiratory, urinary or circulatory," he said, adding it also causes leg muscles to waste away. With MarioWay "the upper part of the trunk is straightened", strengthening muscles which go unused in traditional wheelchairs.

The chair can go up to 20km/h on a battery life of 30km.

The MarioWay allows users to do every day activities such as order a coffee and take a book from the high shelf. Mario said the aim was to create “a tool of social integration.”

The team is trying to lower the price of the chair by finding manufacturing partners. Mario hopes one day able-bodied people will use MarioWay too as mobility in cities will change.
Adapted from: https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/italian-wheelchair-marioway-hopes-to-bri...
More information: http://www.marioway.it/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUJsElUMHNQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUJsElUMHNQ

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Mario Vigentini from Italy, born in 1972, has been working with young people with mental and physical disabilities for nearly 20 years. He created MarioWay, a chair that allows people with disability raise up so they are face-to-face with those standing. In 2012, he won a startup competition with this invention and the founded the MarioWay company.

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