Reagiro is a completely new type of manually operated wheelchair: Thanks to a mechanism that has been registered for a patent, the vehicle developed by the designer Reto Togni can be steered by leaning the upper body sideways. A flexible back rest that accommodates this body movement transfers the impulse to the small front wheels, which – depending on the angle of the upper body lean – trigger more or less powerful cornering. This facilities a natural and dynamic experience of movement, which promotes a close, body-hugging connection between the wheel-chair and the user. In a large number of test rides for people with different types of paraplegia, it has been shown that steering the wheelchair via the movement of the upper body is fun, imparts a zest for life and a feeling of freedom. In addition, a trip with the Reagiro provides a therapeutic effect: it strengthens the muscles in the body and at the same time relieves overloaded hands. In the meantime, the concept of the Reagiro has prompted additional scientific research projects, in which a well-known industrial partner is also involved.
Comments of the nominators:
An extremely exciting and very promising project, for which one can only wish that it overcomes the high hurdles for series production. It illustrates an example of the potential of a problem-oriented and overall design approach.