At Levaté, we love seeing the latest trends and innovations in the wheelchair space. In particular, wheelchair designs are becoming sleeker and more fashionable, instead of looking purely utilitarian and clinical. We think this is a great trend and we hope to see it continue to grow. Whill is one such company trying to rethink Wheelchairs.
In 2010 Satoshi Sugi was inspired to rethink how and why wheelchairs work through an interaction with his neighbor, a wheelchair user. Sugi says that the man told him how defeated he felt, how people viewed him as weak, crippled, and that he had even given up going to the grocery store less than two blocks away. To combat these misjudgment, Sugi and several other engineers designed the Whill power wheelchair.
Their first version, the Model A, combines high performance with unmatched aesthetics. From the seat sliding forward and backward to allow for smoother transfers to the moveable arms that you can position in whatever way makes you comfortable, the Model A is an incredible work of art. You can control/steer Whill by using either a device analogous to a computer mouse or an ergonomically designed joystick. It has 360 degrees of motion and an incredibly small turning radius. Another surprising fact is that each wheel on the front of the Model A is made up of 24 separate tires, which allows for increased maneuverability indoors and through various types of terrain (grass, gravel, etc.).
Additionally, Whill incorporates an Acceleration Management System that enables users to customize the speed that their chair moves through an easy to use iPhone app. The Model A can move up to 6 miles per hour and boasts that is has increased stability when compared to normal wheelchairs.
The Whill’s sleek design and easy to use features draw in potential customers. You will have to pay for the option to use the Model A. It costs $9,500 but includes a one year warranty that covers all parts and maintenance that is needed. Preorders are currently being taken and inquiries about purchasing a Model A can be sent through their customer friendly website, whill.us.
No one at Levaté has ever used the Whill but it looks like they are on to something! It is great to see a company that combines top-notch functionality with 21st century aesthetics. We look forward to seeing how the Whill performs and we wish them the best.