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Hoverchairs for floating senior citizens Answered

Hovercrafts are great ways to reuse a leaf blower or shopvac for goofing off. Now some folks in Japan are using the same idea to float senior citizens around. These chairs designed at Japan's Kobe Gakuin University can lift up to 330 pounds. The next step is to find someone who can manufacture them so we can get everyone floating along, softly bumping off each other.

Related:
Hovercraft
Autonomous, Wirelessly Controlled Hovercraft
Simple Rideable Hovercraft

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50 Replies

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Tool Using Animal (author)2010-02-23

Asian Chair Pushing guy not included.

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user

Hey where did you find the cool doll?

Did you notice that the US didn't invent this thing? Or at least it's not admitting to it.

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user

I think they don't want to be responsible for all the deaths caused by no brakes.

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amercado11 (author)Lithium Rain2010-03-15

No, I meant the reclining fat doll on some kind of tool. I guess you meant to show us what become of us when we start using hover crafts to move around our tools.

I'd like to give the doll to a few folks I know, That would be a hoot.

:)


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user

That I GIS'ed for.  But, cuz I'm such a nice guy, I found it for you...

http://www.toywiz.com/wlecaptain2.html


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user

Thank You! That was nice of you.

:)

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quentinwolf (author)2010-03-21

Check out the iBot,  which was invented quite a few years ago by the guy who made the Segway.  It was a wheelchair that can: Go up and down stairs,  and also balance on 2 wheels (similar to Segway) to gain additional height for the person to reach higher things, or see people eye to eye.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBOT

www.youtube.com/watch

:)

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gurusean (author)2010-03-17

That's the future for sure.

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jeff-o (author)2010-02-23

I fail to see how this is better than a good set of wheels.

Perhaps because it isn't.

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kelseymh (author)jeff-o2010-02-23
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jeff-o (author)kelseymh2010-02-23

Oh, those Japanese...  always at hand with a solution to a problem that doesn't exist...  :)

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fungus amungus (author)jeff-o2010-02-23

Well, there is a problem of an aging population and a lot of tech is devoted to making life better for them. As for this, well, not every effort leads to success. :)

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glorybe (author)fungus amungus2010-02-25

     All things considered I don't feel that very much effort at all has gone into assuring the health and comfort of seniors or the disabled either. We see far too many sleeping in parks and wherever they can hide in Florida.

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whatisdokken (author)jeff-o2010-02-23

I believe the term is "Shin Dogu", and there was a tv program for kids in the mid nineties all about it in the UK.

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Lithium Rain (author)jeff-o2010-02-23

Well, for one thing, if there's a rock or small ledge in the way, this shouldn't have any potential to dump the passenger as a wheelchair can in some situations (such as an improper balance of the load/poor chair design)...maybe it would stop them, but it seems like it would be safer, imo.

Also, there's no wheels to wear out, pick up dirt, water or snow, or scuff up the floor. You're not touching a germy handrail (sorry, but I can't imagine that's an entirely clean surface...) to wheel yourself around (or same thing with the handles if you're being pushed).

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jeff-o (author)Lithium Rain2010-02-24

Some good points, to be sure.  But how do they push themselves?  In the video some guy was kicking around the chair with his foot.  He ran over the power cord a few times - and it stopped moving completely.  That means that the surface must not only be perfectly smooth (limiting these to shopping malls?) but also totally clean.

No, I see no benefit for this.  A standard electric scooter/wheelchair is far more useful in every way.

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Lithium Rain (author)jeff-o2010-02-24

Oh, there's no question it's next to useless in its present form, but I think as a concept it has potential. If it was developed to have proper, precise, user-controlled steering, and especially if it could cope with small obstacles, you would have something.

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jeff-o (author)Lithium Rain2010-02-24

I just wish I knew what their ultimate goal for this thing is:  a smoother ride?  The ability to move in any direction?

The biggest problem that I can see is that it's so hard to stop.  Once you get it up to a decent useful speed (say, 3-5 km/h), how will it stop?  Air jets?  An anchor?  Those poor senior citizens will be receiving a crash course in Newtonian physics for sure!

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Lithium Rain (author)jeff-o2010-02-24

Yeah, a lot of neat concepts like this come out that never seem to be fully explained or really realize their full potential. 

That would definitely be a concern if you weren't careful, but the way I see it, have it stop the same as any motorized wheelchair - kill the motor. Unless you're going way faster than current chairs go, a sudden stop shouldn't be any more dangerous with this thing (assuming, of course, that the chair is safely engineered otherwise).

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caitlinsdad (author)Lithium Rain2010-02-24

A Segway scooter with a chair attached is probably much safer since you expect to be thrown off.  If you pulled out the reclining chair footrest, you're liable to pull the ejection seat lever or else topple the whole thing backwards as leaning back will cause the blast of air to make it unstable.  Not that this has happened in an office chair, mind you.

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Xellers (author)caitlinsdad2010-02-25

I think that if they made the engines a bit stronger and added a battery with inverter instead of utilizing wall power, this could easily be mass-produced. In its current form, its seems to sag on one end and almost touch the ground.

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ubr.bzkr (author)Xellers2010-02-25

I think that it doesnt matter what y'all think, its a friggin hoverchair for senior citizens, so it basicaly the definition of awsome. I mean what good ole boy american growing up in the 50's didnt want a hover car let alone a hover chair! So what if it isnt practical, it's the wave of teh future (kinda). i built a hovercraft in 8th grade, so yeah this one is pretty simple, but add some thrusters, maby a turbo fan, a microprosser for control, some LED headlights, an expresso machine, laser guidance, a hydrogen fuel cell, and a GPS system and you have a complete recipie for AWSOME!!!!

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jeff-o (author)Lithium Rain2010-02-24

Yeah, I suppose that would work for an emergency stop (and definitely for "parking")  It sure would detract from the experience of "floating on air" if stopping meant a grinding halt.

It's weird, I'm not sure why I'm disliking this invention so much.  Maybe it's the image of kicking around some old guy like an air hockey puck that gets me.  Hrm.

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st.paul (author)jeff-o2010-02-23

that's what i thought but then i realized IT'S A STEP TOWARD MASS PRODUCTION HOVERCRAFTS.  but yea i completely agree with you- just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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FastEd88 (author)2010-03-01

Where's the Brakes! Would not work on a ramp or stairs. The dust created by all the blowing air would not be good on their aging lungs, let alone the noise involved, just one step closer to the future as presented on the cartoon "Wall-E"
Oh Ya, do we want that "old people" smell being blown all over the place?

Fast Ed

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Algag (author)FastEd882010-03-16

 im sorry but it wouldnt blow that much dust and if it did would it really fly that high up AND they have quieter motors AND who says it has to be on all the time it only has to be on for when their moving and they can barely hear anything anyway

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rko167% (author)2010-03-14

does this thing really float?

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FastEd88 (author)2010-03-08

http://electric-wheelchair-on.net/accessability-devices/new-stair-walking-electric-wheelchair/

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just pick a name (author)2010-02-25

Yea, artcompelled, I was thinking something similar - if the bag/skirt thing could be detachable, it could be hooked to a shop vac or leaf bower and be used for moving power tools around the shop, like the table saw or lathe bench.  Just put the hover module under the bench and hook up the air source and away you go.  The tool benches would probably have to be designed with this in mind so the space underneath was the right height and dimesions for it to fit.

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nax (author)just pick a name2010-02-28

This would rock for moving power tools, because when you turn off the air, the tool base is solid. No blocking or removing wheels.

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zascecs (author)2010-02-28

Eventually, the human race will evolve into big blobs of fat; the lack of movement and use of legs will really pay one day... 

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luvit (author)2010-02-27

ha ha. it's on an extension cord. hopefully short enough to keep from falling down the steps. -- does the occupant have a kill switch?

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pathak_19 (author)2010-02-26
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jehovahgodofgaps (author)2010-02-23

 powered chairs remind me of death. I work for the railroad as a signal maintainer and fix,test and repair grade crossing. The one and only fatality on my tracks was a powered chair who drove in front of the train.

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user

The powerchair died? good thing no one was driving. poor power chair. lololololololool(yes im crazy ok!)

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killerjackalope (author)2010-02-23

I need to get making a hover craft, not for epic transport potentials, just so I can stand on it and use a brush pole like I'm some kind of indoor gondola...

Another plan - hovercraft and strimmer (weedwhacker) combined with a right angle transmission... It would be like an outboard motor for going on land... 

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ubr.bzkr (author)killerjackalope2010-02-25

Cool motorroading. the newest hobbie. I built a simple havercraft and it was pretty unstable, but other than that it was really cool. I always though a weedwhacker would make a good outbaord for like a home built raft or something but a hovercraft? thats revolutionary! 

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ubr.bzkr (author)ubr.bzkr2010-02-25

And im shure placing a high revolution weedwhacker behind you as an outboard would prevent thoes pesky tailgaters lol!

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Stephen D. Alverez (author)2010-02-24

 One step closer to human air hockey. I don't see why we put old people in nursing homes, why don't we just send 'em on a long, long cruise, 'cause hey, we're not going to live forever! Oh, and the best part is that a fancy cruise costs much less then a nursing home!

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And they can replace shuffel board with human air hockey, Of cource! it's teh perfect solution to senior healthcare and teh economy!

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avakatie (author)2010-02-24

I thinkz it rocks :D very cool I would love to make one :D welldone dont listen to ppl who say its not good :p

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Kiteman (author)2010-02-23
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JohnJY (author)Kiteman2010-02-24

I see it! Those cheaters!    

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