The Acrobat wheel is a brand new shock-absorbing wheel that’s changing the way manual wheelchair-users traverse terrain. These impressive babies do for the rear wheels what Frog Legs do for the front wheels.
Created by the Israeli company SoftWheel, it features a unique form of suspension called “selective suspension technology,” a three prong moveable suspension system attached to the hub and the rim of the wheel.
As you’re using your wheelchair, the Acrobat will sense if there is rocky terrain, such as going downstairs or boppin’ down a curb. When it senses this unstable terrain, the wheels will expand three spokes larger, allowing the wheel to take the brunt of the shock, and not you or your chair.
When this occurs, the hub of the wheel also moves. And once you’re on smooth terrain, it will move to its central location. This unique design feature also allows for more freedom and safety, plus it’s better on the body long-term. The wheels will then return to a normal state once you are on flat terrain.
But this is not the first time we’ve seen other shock-absorbing ideas for wheelchairs. You’ve got the quintessential Frog Legs, an add-on for manual wheelchairs that goes on the front caster wheels, allowing for any shock you encounter to be absorbed. They work pretty well, too.
But there’s something to be said for wheels that take the shock instead. Such a smart idea. Because of its sheer size the Acrobat is prone to working better, and because of this the Acrobat wheel is well on its way to becoming notorious. And the computer analysis the company has done shows the wheels reduce the impact by almost half. Huge.
If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of the Acrobat wheels, they will be available sometime this year. They come in several colors as well so you can make them as cool or subdued as possible. Just think — going over curbs, going down stairs, you won’t feel a thing.
A smooth ride that looks sweet and also lets you go down stairs without being tossed around is a dream turned reality for many wheelchair-using friends. Bravo SoftWheel for making such a cool invention for the disability community. This will really save our backs in the long run.
Watch it in action:
What is your favorite shock absorber for your wheelchair?