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For some wheelchair users, transferring between mobility devices can be too much. Inspired by his Grandfather’s inability to access his local community, New Zealand maker Oscar Fernandez developed the IWA (Independent Wheelchair Assist), a motorized wheelchair accessory. Attaching the IWA to a standard wheelchair greatly enhances the users mobility while being easily disconnected when not in use. The IWA, along with many other fantastic devices, is entered to win the 2012 James Dyson Award, a student design award running in 18 countries to “encourage the next generation of design engineers to be creative, challenge and invent.” [Thanks, Katie!]

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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Comments

  1. Ez-Man says:

    I can spot a dyson award contender a mile away. Much more sizzle than steak. Too much emphasis on style rather than utility. Plus, a fancy video that doesn’t even show the invention, wow!

    1. beardy241 says:

      Cynical but LOL

    2. Mike_S says:

      I hate this presentation style too. Plugging an interesting and useful idea with a trendy, Zero-info, celebrity interview-style fluff piece. Just a cover for the fact that it doesn’t work yet. Even the single still photo that is meant to show it moving along, is a low-effort photoshop fake. Despite all the effort lavished on vaguely Tron-esque accents, there’s no reason to believe this thing has ever moved an inch under it’s own power. Having said all that, it’s still an intriguing idea with potential to make people’s lives better.

      1. Adam Flaherty says:

        The video they link to is a bit of a fluff piece, but the project is legit. A quick scan of the included images shows the prototypes and process in better detail. http://bit.ly/Nsqfaa

        They’re showing off a final prototype rather than a work in progress. Consider researching a little deeper before you post vitriol.