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ROBOT WHEELCHAIR CLIMBS STAIRS.

Imagine a sleek wheelchair with two pairs of midsize wheels on a swivel. Imagine approaching a curb, or even, stairs, and being able to swivel repeatedly up the stairs. Imagine sitting in the supermarket, hitting the "stand" button, and swiveling up on two wheels to reach the top shelf. This describes the IBOT, a self-propelled chair on wheels that knows, using gyroscopes and microprocessors, how to keep its balance.

Invented by Dean Kamen, the IBOT is now in clinical trials prior to approval by the FDA. Johnson & Johnson has invested $50 million in developing the Independence 3000 IBOT Transporter. Availability by prescription is projected for 2001, at about $25,000.

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Title Annotation:Company Business and Marketing; Dean Kamen's Independence 3000 IBOT Transporter
Author:Fox, Robert
Publication:Communications of the ACM
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Words:110
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