The Swiss startup Scewo has developed a new self-balancing wheelchair that tackles urban accessibility from the user's perspective. It's called the BRO, and despite the deplorable name, it's a small wonder of tech that redefines what a power wheelchair can do. The main wheels are self-balancing and let the user always retain a proper position while driving. A third wheel in the back and a set of two continuous tracks are what set the BRO apart from similar devices, though. They let the users drive through uneven and rough terrain with ease, and, above all, they make it possible for the chair to climb over a flight of stairs autonomously. The chair can also raise itself, thanks to the exact mechanism used to climb stairs, letting the user have a conversation face to face with other people, or reach a higher shelf in a supermarket.
In March, SCEWO was granted the gold medal by the German Design Award for excellent design achievement. "Being awarded such a prize confirms us that we have taken the right path. Our wheelchair shall not only extend the mobility of wheelchair users but also change the perception in society. This aspect matters a lot to me personally", said Simon Fanger, Head of Design at Scewo, commenting on the prize. "Furthermore, the award shows us that there is still a lot of potential in medical technology. With BRO, we have created a product that allows a new perspective on the mobility of wheelchair users. By giving such a high priority to design, we want to inspire others in the industry to give more importance to appearance in addition to the functionality".