A revolutionary new shock-absorbing wheel design could be a breakthrough for accessibility, making users feel as if they are ‘essentially floating in mid-air.‘
Featuring three compression cylinders and symmetric/selective technology, the new design is brainchild of Gilad Wolf, an ex-farmer in Israel.
The new SoftWheel is designed to massively reduce the amount of discomfort caused by traditional ‘rigid’ wheels, found on most modern day wheelchairs.
Users of traditional wheelchairs will lose up to 50% of their energy via lack of suspension, and only see up to 20-30% of energy actually used on propulsion.
SoftWheel is designed to address this problem, meaning users can traverse stairs and curbs up to twice as fast.
“However, when encountering an impact caused by an obstacle above a specific threshold, the Acrobat’s Selective Suspension mechanism comes into play. This causes a shift of the wheel’s hub from its previously central location and develops a cushioning effect that dramatically absorbs and lessens the impact transferred to the rider.”
As well as use with wheelchairs, the SoftWheel is also envisioned to be used with bicycles.
“Be it electric (eBike), pedaling-electric (PedElec) or manual, the patent pending design of the Fluent™ gives your bicycle full flexibility and allows you to choose your own route, without suffering the bouncy ride or energy loss (sweat or battery) of suspension designed for mountain biking.”
“While burning the tarmac the Fluent™ rides rigid, and when encountering obstacles (curb, stairs, bump) the suspension mechanism comes to life to absorb more than half of the impact energy.”