Toyota rewards the creation of a smart carbon fiber wheelchair


Updated:12/21/2020 01: 37h


Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has announced the winner of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, which has awarded the Phoenix Instinct of the United Kingdom with 1 million dollars – about 820,000 euros – to further boost development of your ultralight smart wheelchair, made of carbon fiber among other components. The goal is to help commercialize it and ultimately improve the lives of millions of people with disabilities.

The Toyota Mobility Foundation, created by Toyota in 2014, launched this $ 4 million prize-winning global challenge – some € 3.26 million – in 2017, in partnership with Nesta Challenges, in an attempt to boost the innovation in the field of assistive technologies for people with lower extremity paralysis, confirming its commitment to Toyota’s mission of mobility for all and its global vision of producing happiness for all.

Designed by Phoenix Instinct in the UK, the Phoenix i uses intelligent systems to automatically adjust its center of gravity, making the ultralight carbon fiber frame extremely stable, with greater ease of use and maneuverability. The help of the front wheels reduces vibrations significantly, minimizing stress on the user. The chair’s intelligent braking system automatically detects when the user is traveling downhill and adjusts the center of gravity to ensure a safe descent.

Key appraisals for choosing the winning invention included devices that blend seamlessly into people’s lives and environment, while being comfortable and easy to use, allowing for greater independence and participation in daily life. The evaluation criteria they were built on innovation, vision and impact, functionality and ease of use, quality and safety, and market potential and affordability.

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