'It's an iBOT,' I would say. 'Yes you bought it, but what is it?' she would answer.

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/12/03 02:04 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/12/02/1198134.aspx

No, it is not a new iPod device from Apple; it is the version of the Segway that is specially designed to help people with mobility problems, the iBOT

I saw the iBOT on The Colbert Report the other day... here is a clip of Stephen Colbert riding it and climbing a few stairs, plus the brief interview with Dean Kamen:

I can't help but wish that I had one of these.

Don't get me wrong, life from a scooter is very empowering until you run headlong into the problem that it cannot negotiate a curb bigger than two inches.

It is doubtful that I'd be trying to climb the steps of the Art Museum in Philadelphia or anything, but just the freedom to not have to worry about the odd step here and there would be really nice.

And being able to both travel and talk to people at eye level rather than sitting while they are standing is also a really nice thought as well.

Though the device weight (289 lbs) while lighter than lots of powered wheelchairs, would almost certainly require a lift to travel with, so I wouldn't be able to use it in some of the cases where it would perhaps be the most useful.

If I were living in Europe or Japan or really any place where the cutouts in the pavement are scarce then it would feel like much less of a luxury and much more of a necessity.

But living where I am (in the US), and with a price tag is in the "over $26,000" range (assuming there are no discounts available), it is doubtful that such an unfree ability to feel a bit more free is actually practical at the moment....

But it is still pretty cool, and a guy can always dream about some wealthy benefactor who wants to see me zooming by (or maybe away from them?) at nearly seven miles per hour!

In other news, my LVEF is 66% so I will be going in to shoot up/get poisoned on Monday (the Novantrone thing, dose #6). The lady who did the Echo looked at my past results and actually asked why I was having them done so often considering how normal they look, which simultaneously made me feel good about the state of my heart and worried that the tech. was not reading the req. that mentions why I am getting it.


This post brought to you by  (U+267f, a.k.a. WHEELCHAIR SYMBOL)

# Gabe on 3 Dec 2006 2:23 AM:

Of course you want one. It seems pretty obvious Colbert wants one. Heck, who wouldn't want one? And why not climb the Art Museum steps with it?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 3 Dec 2006 2:34 AM:

Well, there is the practical matter that they always recommend you go up steps backwards and that you need a handrail (or an attendant).

Plus it is obviously slower on stairs than on flat ground.

And finally, there is the travel issue -- I am on the wrong side of the country and traveling with it is much harder than traveling with the scooter! :-)

# Mihai on 4 Dec 2006 6:32 PM:


And much more useful than the Segway, which seems to me like toy for spoiled rich brats.

No that this is cheep, but who knows, maybe it has some future, someone might be able to produce it for a lower price, or get a "generic version"


referenced by

2008/10/23 Cogito ergo cathedra... (I think, therefore IBOT...)

2008/03/26 Cleaning up the water (globally) and hoping to get around better

2008/01/09 Man in chair don't get busy with the au pair (aka Multiple sclerosis and new relationships)

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