Johnson & Johnson / DEKA

This one always felt like it was from some strange dream. It had everything. A self-balancing futuristic wheelchair, brilliant inventors, an on-looker car crash, me almost running a person over with a Segway, and a mansion with secret doors and a garage with two helicopters. A new James Bond movie perhaps? Nope, my next design project.

Dean Kamen, who created the Segway, that two-wheeled balancing transporter you see vacationers use on tours, also created a wheelchair using the same gyroscopic balancing technology. He actually created the iBOT first, in collaboration with Independence Technology, and the Segway was born from that technology. The iBOT Wheelchair was and still is revolutionary. 

The iBOT has a straightforward goal of increasing independence. As it self-balances on two wheels it can raise itself to the eye level of someone standing. Being at eye level creates greater inclusion with others. The iBOT can also aid in climbing stairs and moving through sand, which allows the occupant to increase their mobility.

My responsibility was to design the training experience design for new iBOT owners.

I created a training website to prepare new iBOT owners for an on-site event where they will have face-to-face training. This involves becoming familiar with the parts of the iBOT, the joystick/control panel, and an interactive “day in the life” simulation of several situations and how the iBOT is to be used.