Scalevo is like a hybrid of a wheelchair and a Segway. It’s a two-wheeled wheelchair that has the ability to climb stairs. Using gyroscopic technology, similar to a Segway in “balance mode,” the design makes it easy to rotate on the spot and quickly change direction. On flat ground, the wheelchair can move at about 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 mph).
However, the most impressive feature of the Scalevo chair is its ability to ascend and descend stairs with a slope between 17 to 34 degrees. To execute this, it drops two treaded tracks and climbs backwards up the stairs, while keeping the user upright at all times. Although not shown in the demonstration video, it can mount one stair per second. The wheelchair even has the ability to scale spiral staircases.
It was developed by 10 students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and the Zurich University of the Arts. The group is a mixture of engineers and industrial designers under the directorship of Dr. Roland Siegwart and Dr. Roland Haas.