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Toyota is working on the wheelchair of the future

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David Cornish
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You've probably never heard of Dean Kamen, but we'll save you the Google: he's the guy who invented the Segway, that two-wheeled self-balancing transportation device that was supposed to change the face of urban landscapes the world over.

While Kamen's Segway hasn't quite overrun pavements as it was once heralded, another of his incredible (arguably more life-changing) inventions is about to receive a major boost from a partnership with Toyota. 

The iBot, first launched in 1999, incorporated elements of the Segway into a wheelchair design: users could ride up steep inclines and cover rough terrain in a conventional four-wheel set up and even climb stairs two-wheels at a time - but its most significant feature saw it elevate to the height of a standing person, balancing on its rear wheels in Segway-like fashion. While applauded as an incredible piece of technology, its production costs and $25,000 price tag saw the iBot struggle to sell, eventually being discontinued in 2009. 

But now, with the help of Toyota, Kamen is reintroducing the mobility chair with the benefits of 15-year's-worth of technological improvements. There's no word on what the new chair will cost, but it could transform wheelchair design in the very near future. Check out the amazing chair in operation below. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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