Ogo – From Segway to hands-free electric wheelchair

The user simply leans the body in the direction they want to go

Intuitive control system
A new fantastic invention that promises to radically change the lives of people with limited mobility is the Ogo – a wheelchair created by Kevin Halsall, an engineer from New Zealand, inspired by the technology of a Segway for a more intuitive control system.

The Ogo is a wheelchair that stands out for being controlled intuitively and completely hands free. The user simply leans the body in the direction they want to go, and the chair will move in that direction, offering greater freedom of movement and interaction with the environment. In addition to responding to upper-body movements, the Ogo can also be controlled by a joystick for greater precision. Its lithium battery has an autonomy of 40 kilometers, which is about a day’s use.

The project was inspired by Marcus Thompson, a friend of Halsall’s who became paraplegic after a skiing accident. The engineer was touched to find that a wheelchair rather limited his friend’s mobility and consequently his ability to participate in social events. That’s when Halsall had the idea to develop a more modern wheelchair, able to offer more freedom of movement than the ones available.

Made mainly from fiberglass, the Ogo can reach a maximum speed of 20 km/h and has auxiliary wheels for “off-road” adventures. According to Halsall, the Ogo is already going through it’s final adjustments before it is ready to reach the public.


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