June 27, 2014
The WHILL Type-A: Revolutionizing Personal Mobility
Meet the next evolution of personal mobility: WHILL Type-A. For those of you not familiar with the product, the WHILL Type-A is a customizable, wireless-enabled mobility device that seeks to completely revolutionize the industry. Designed by minds from Nissan, Toyota, Sony, and Olympus, this crack team of engineers has produced a compact, highly customizable product that has already earned recognition as runner up in the 2014 Red Dot Awards. It features an omni-directional wheel with a 28” turning radius, complete with four-wheel drive and a 10-degree incline, a forward-sliding seat to allow easier table access, and adjustable arms and built-in safety lights — just to name a few features. It’s not just about getting from point A to point B — it’s about making the trip as easy as humanly possible … and with a few extra bells and whistles, to boot.
But don’t take my word for it. Take a look for yourself:
We took at an initial look at the product back when they first announced it in February, but the project has continued to grow since then. Now, the designers behind WHILL are ready to take the next step in making their dream in personal mobility a revolutionary reality. They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign that highlights the many exciting advancements that their prototype has made since we last covered the project. The team has been focusing extensively on two major aspects of this project: individualization, and software integration. Much of what they are planning on doing is all about taking the kind of accessibility this product already offers, and combining it with the utility and functionality that people already expect in many modern devices. While the physical product is already highly customizable, tailored for each individual customer, the team wants to take this same mindset to the next step, giving consumers access to myriad more options through the software as well.
While most of their hardware into the fine-tuning stages, they are still in the early stages of this software design. Their future plans (the details of which can be found on their Kickstarter page), place a heavy emphasis on wireless Bluetooth remote control and smartphone synchronization are one of the features that set WHILL apart from any other mobility device, and they intend to focus a great deal of time and effort ensuring that it is implemented in the most efficient way possible:
“We are planning to use the funds generated through this campaign to develop a customized smartphone application for WHILL. The cost will cover mechanical engineering, electrical circuit design, software programming, application design, and user-interface design.”
Supporting WHILL comes with all the normal Kickstarter goodies, but more importantly, you can donate with the assurance that your dollars are being spent on a device that will greatly improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The Kickstarter page itself provides several intriguing videos that cover each of the features listed in great depth, and even if you don’t personally need the assistance of one of these machines, the project is interesting enough to warrant a look.
That, and they have some pretty cool shirts, too.
Image Credit: WHILL