Robotic wheelchair can climb steps, navigate obstacles

Japanese university project shows wheelchair wheels that act like legs

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Here's some cool video from Japan - DigInfo News presents this report on a robotic wheelchair developed at Chiba Tech.

Instead of wheels locked into one position, the wheels are more robotic like, allowing for the wheelchair to climb up and over small steps, or obstacles in its path. The system also has some cool design that allow the user to reverse or get out of tight spots a lot easier than with a standard wheelchair.

While this system doesn't look like it would be able to climb more vertical stairs (like in an office building), at least navigating street curbs and smaller steps would be made easier with this system.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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