While I don’t think wheelchairs will ever become extinct, there will definitely be advances in technology changing the concept of chairs as we see them today. Similar to the automotive industry, vehicles are beginning to parallel park on their own and drive themselves.
The video below showcases the Tek Robotic Mobilization Device (RMD). It allows people with spinal cord injuries, specifically those who are paraplegics, to transition from sitting and standing postures with ease. For people like me, who are quadriplegics, it would be more difficult to use this device since our trunk muscles are often weaker.
However, I like the sleek design of the Tek RMD. It makes it easier to navigate narrow spaces. It would easily fit down the aisles of airplanes. I also like the remote control feature allows the Tek RMD to be brought to the user.
On the other hand, the video doesn’t show the device being used outdoors. The wheels do not seem to be large enough to roll through rough terrain like grass, gravel, sand or snow.
It will be interesting to see how this new technology will be used; however, I don’t think the current wheelchair will become obsolete. To see the Tek RMD in action, watch the video below.