This wheelchair was a real surprise. You would not expect ultralight sports wheelchair and powered wheelchair to be commingled in the same breath.
Aside from the occasional addition of a powered add-on system these two types of wheelchairs have traditionally been found on opposite ends of the wheelchair spectrum.
Kangan Roo Power Wheelchair is based around a standard TiLite titanium manual sports wheelchair frame with the addition of a three-wheeled power module. The unit allows for shortening of the wheelbase for indoor maneuverability, or electrically extending for outdoor cruising.
The Kangan Roo has a built in bag of tricks that are difficult to describe but can easily be understood if you view the product video.
There are a number of innovative features that challenge contemporary powered wheelchair design. The ability to shorten the wheelbase for use in tighter indoor areas results in placing the drive wheels forward on the wheelchair and improving manueverability. In indoor mode the chair takes on characteristics of a front wheel drive wheelchair. In the extended frame outdoor mode the chair offers greater stability and handles similar to a mid-wheel drive wheelchair.
Kangan Roo uses prototype hub motors with rare earth magnet motors supplied by collaborators CATEA of Georgia Tech in Atlanta USA and NiMH batteries (the same as used in electric vehicles) supplied by sponsor Cobasys of Michigan USA.
Thanks go to Colin Johanson of COOL Mobility for sending me the heads up on this wheelchair.