Add electric drive to any ordinary, manual wheelchair with the WHILL snap-on wheels. Using this new concept, manual wheelchairs can reach top speeds of over 12 mph/19 kmh.
WHILL is an aftermarket device with two circular hubs that fit over the outside of the wheelchair’s wheels are connected by a curved bar. Direction and speed is adjusted by operating the curved control section that connects the two hubs.
After locking the hubs onto the wheels, the user steers the chair by leaning and pushing against the central waist bar. Each hub has a 24-volt motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, which helps the wheels turn and move. The battery will allow a range of approximately 19 miles/30 kilometers before requiring a 2-hour charge.
The Japan based WHILL company, is currently looking for wheelchair users to help field test the prototype device. Feedback from test users will influence the design of the final, commercial product.