From I SCOOT to IBOT, #1 of ??

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/10/28 00:01 -07:00, original URI:

I thought regular and semi-regular readers might like an update on life with the IBOT, after I blogged about getting one in Cogito ergo cathedra... (I think, therefore IBOT...) a few days ago.

If you're not interested, then you can leave now. :-)

This may or may not be a series, it depends on how things go, like whether one seems needed.

So I went in ready -- like taking the English instructions to baggage handler types on dealing with the IBOT:

IBOT instructions -- English 

and the Spanish instructions:

IBOT instructions -- SPANISH

printing them both out, then getting them laminated as a nice double-sided sheet -- which I will include with the IBOT, any time I travel.

Who says Kinko's can't be fun? :-)

After several instances of baggage handlers at destinations screwing up the scooter in both large and small ways, I decided it would be best not to take chances with a unit that costs more than 25 times as much as the scooter did!

But anyway, about the transition.

Obviously we are dealing with two entirely different steering systems:

Now the differences here are fairly obvious, for the most part.

In fact, when going forward, a smooth turn under power in the scooter handles a lot like a smooth diagonal push of the joystick.

Though obviously the combination of the zero turning radius side movement with forward movement can make the joystick handle with a bit more roughness when the movement is not as smooth, something that doesn't happen with the scooter.

Just something that will get better with practice -- the fact that I no longer have to back into elevators and offices is by itself so cool that I don't miss the finer points of scooter navigation. :-)

Going backwards is a bit harder though, since the nature of the movements when using the scooter versus the IBOT, which so closely tie together in forward movement, are pretty much reversed when going backward since the nature of the zero turning radius movement is unchanged.

THUS, going backwards in the scooter while turning the handlebars to the right will move the scooter back to the right, while going backwards in the scooter while pushing the joystick toward the right will actually move the chair to the left.

At some point I will draw this out or find someone else's drawings, as I don't find the above description to be very satisfying, and not everyone will want to take the descriptions a\and work out the physics for themselves. But in the meantime, just imagine combining a clockwise turn with a backwards movement and think about what way the scooter will be pointing.

You might see what I mean. :-)

Or if you have been steering a boat before you will understand this idea. That might be where I get pictures from.

Tonight I am going to head to the Stumbling Monk for a chess night, in the IBOT. In fact by the time you are reading this if you were waiting anxiously for the 12:01 AM post, I will be on my way home, perhaps after having gone backwards twice to get on the bus, which I am really happy that I will be doing at uncrowded times as I fighting over a year of muscle memory when I do it and I'd just as soon have fewer witnesses, if you know what I mean.

I can also talk about hills, living in a city whose downtown isn't exactly San Francisco but isn't exactly the flattest part of Kansas City, Kansas either.

With the scooter, they recommend not more than a 20° incline but to be honest I have done 30° with no trouble. But I have tripped the circuit breaker trying with higher inclines, some of which exist in Seattle. When it happens there is nothing to do but wait 30 seconds, hit the circuit breaker reset, and try again. I have had occasional hills that required doing that 4-5 times while I cursed choosing the wrong street to go on.

But with the IBOT, the incline is not really so much the issue -- it can handle even steeper inclines. Just take the hill head-on rather than at an angle, an even during training around the streets outside Swedish Medical Center I had steeper inclines. That is a change I'm much happier about, as I'm sure you can imagine. :-)

I'll probably talk about all of this later.

For now, I'll move on.

Let's talk about height.

When I graduated from high school in 1988 in Philadelphia PA, I stood tall and proud at 5'8".

A few years later, with the MS I suddenly found standing for long periods of time was harder, yet I did manage to gain a couple more inches so I was able to stand a proud 5'10", when I stood. Perhaps a lare growth spurt, perhaps it was marrying young. The spurt stopped after the divorce, so maybe she was the inspiration. :-)

Eventually, in the scooter, I found myself looking up to those I used to gaze upon at eye level, in my more diminished 4'1". I even tried to change the height to 4'1" at the DMV, though they said no dice. Aparently even if you are paralyzed driving with hand controls they want a real height, I guess measured lying down. Or estimated. It's not like they weighed me.

Anyway, now with the IBOT in balance mode and full verticalk extension I am once again 5'8".

I feel like I just graduated from high school again! In more ways than one. Or something like that.

Well crap, I could talk about being able to hit 5" curbs and climb over them without blinking or not being blocked by steps. And all of that is cool too.

Either way, I swear I'd like to find the original doctor who signed the initial NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY rejection letter -- flying to him if that is what it takes -- wheel up to him in my IBOT in balance mode, and tell him that human dignity may not be medically necessary.

But health insurance that can't pay for human dignity for those who are sick is stupid, lame-ass health insurance, and it was a pleasure to go over his head to find people who understand that.

After which I'll break my safety rules and "accidentally" run over his foot. :-)

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

# John Cowan on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:50 AM:

I love the "Break Release Lever" (sic!) embedded in the Spanish.  Real helpful, that.

# Michael S. Kaplan on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:25 PM:

Well, it might have been helpful, if the placard next to the lever had the exact same text on it. Unfortunately, it doesn't....

# Mihai on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:58 PM:

And when you travel abroad, you should consider laminated instructions in all the potential languages you will encounter :-)

# Tony Toews on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:32 PM:

Your postings on the IBot are quite interesting.  Thanks for sharing.

# Dale on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:50 PM:

"... getting them laminated as a nice double-sided sheet -- which I will include with the IBOT, any time I travel. ..."

Getting the baggage handlers to READ IT, there's the challenge.

And stealing a line from Jasper Carrott, we know baggage handlers exist, like the yeti, we see their footprints on your luggage.

But seriously, I'd be tempted to placard any likely surface they're going to grab.  Sort of like those "Remove Before Flight" red ribbons you hope you don't see on your aircraft (as you're taking off).

# Scooters on Thursday, January 08, 2009 6:20 AM:

Enjoyed reading this article.


# Euro on Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:21 PM:


Not that anybody will care, or that you will feel compelled to redo the Spanish sign just for this; but "celdas" [as in jail-cells, sealed rooms] is a vastly better translation than "células" [the biological semi-independent living units], in the context of batteries.

But overall, the translation is of well-above-average quality.

John Cowan:

> I love the "Break Release Lever" (sic!) embedded in the Spanish. <

The text is pointing at the levers and the signs next to them. If that's what the labels on the chair say, that's what the labels say. That's why the text is in quotes. Translating the labels' text wouldn't do anybody any good.

# Michael S. Kaplan on Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:09 PM:

Hey Euro!

It wouldn't be that I don't care, it would just be that they put these on the website as PDFs so there is no good way to edit them to change the translation. I am curious as to whether the word choice would be the same in all Spanish-speaking countries; perhaps we could pin down the location of the translator! :-)

# Euro on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 12:33 AM:

Hey Michael:

Oh, I thought you had composed the sign yourself.

About inferring the origin of the translation: I don't know... I've never heard of battery cells referred to as "células". It feels to me like it simply came from a quick trip to the dictionary, or a slip-up.

"Celdas" in batteries probably has a single origin from the Italian "Cella" (Volta, you know), so I don't think it's a regionally-sensitive word.

But I might be wrong. They are the same root anyway (célula means literally "small cell").

referenced by

2013/09/19 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #10 of ??: The good, the bad, and the ugly (IN THAT ORDER)

2009/06/11 No disassemble Number 5!

2008/12/20 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #10 of ??: The good, the bad, and the ugly (IN THAT ORDER)

2008/12/12 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #9 of ??: You're not stoned if you see me in Seattle at a 50 degree or a 130 degree angle

2008/12/03 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #8 of ?? (On redefining the ideal kissing height)

2008/12/02 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #7 of ?? (Unintended movement of the joystick will result in unintended movement of the product)

2008/11/27 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #6 of ?? (The cost of standing still?)

2008/11/24 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #5 of ?? (sometimes it is phase 3 that is ????)

2008/11/10 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #4 of ?? (with some pictures!)

2008/11/02 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #3 of ??

2008/10/30 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #2 of ??

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