If you have a wheelchair-bound family member at home, you’d appreciate the universal vehicle, Rodem, by Veda. A distinctive feature which makes Rodem the ultimate wheelchair for the disabled or elderly is its ergonomics. Rodem does away with the need for back support. The user takes the seat from behind and only needs to lean forward. Rodem will help the user to sit upright and distribute the weight evenly on the knees, hips and breasts. The design also makes moving in and out of the wheelchair much easier. In traditional wheelchairs, the caregiver would have to help the user to sit up, lean forward, leave the bed, turn the back to the wheelchair, and settle on the seat. This could easily injure the handicapped or frail user, besides being energy draining on the caregiver or support staff.
Rodem also gives scooters, electric cars and speed boats a run for their money. The electric wheelchair is sophisticated and upbeat and a far cry from the traditional wheelchair in looks as well as functions. It is equipped with features such as built-in GPS, automatic obstacle evasion control, automatic slope correction, an “autonomous navigation function,” and voice recognition. It is controlled via a joystick accelerator and is capable of speeding up to 6 kilometers per hour.
VEDA International Robot R&D plans to mass-produce Rodem which stands for “Robot de Enjoy Mobility” and release it in autumn 2009. The robot-cum-wheelchair-cum-vehicle is expected to sell between 500,000 to 700,000 yen, or $5,300 to $7,500.