Eco-business / Social Venture

August 10, 2013


World's First Leg-Powered Wheelchair for Physically Challenged People Commercialized

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Manufacturing industry 

Copyright TESS Co.

TESS Co., a Japanese manufacturer of nursing/medical/transport equipment, commercialized the world first pedal-driven wheelchair developed by a research group led by Dr. Yasunobu Handa, guest professor at Tohoku University.

The cutting-edge wheelchair named "Profhand" can be driven freely with own two legs even by half-paralyzed people from the stroke or people with walking difficulty from spinal-cord-injury, backache or knee osteoarthritis if they can move one of their legs slightly.

Profhand drivers can enjoy long-distance travel at a pace of rapid walking with achieving muscle training effects without efforts. The chair allows its driver to get on and off easily and change directions freely. Its safety design can prevent drivers from upsetting the chair during its running and getting in/out, and make brake work effectively. Profhand measures 1,199 millimeter long, 866 millimeter high, and 605 millimeter wide, and weighs 14.2 kilograms.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, many people have been forced to stay at temporary shelters. Among them, many have secondary problems including economy-class syndrome and other problems due to sluggish lifestyle. Various organizations donated Profhand wheelchairs to the disaster victims.