A group of Masters students based in Zurich has been working on a clever modular system a stair-climbing wheelchair called Scewo. It has two big wheels with a Segway-styled balancing system to navigate flat ground, and dropped a set of rubber tracks when navigating stairs. It reminds a futuristic wheelchair from the X-Men a Professor Xavier was cruising around. It switches to Stair Mode at the push of a button, lowering a set of grippy rubber tracks that can swiftly transport the user up or down in most staircases.
The wheelchair incorporates an Elevated Mode, which raises the chair to offer access to higher objects or eye-to-eye communication. The climbing tracks can also be lowered to increase traction when navigating slippery surfaces. The chair is still away from reaching the market.
The team is currently raising funds to refine the development of the next prototype and aim to have a commercial version of the wheelchair ready to go by the end of 2018. See Scewo in action in the video below.