A group of students from ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts are collaborating on the Scalevo, an electric wheelchair that is capable of cruising like a normal wheelchair but is also fitted with tracks that allow it to negotiate stairs.
When used on smooth ground, the wheelchair balances on its two wheels a bit like a Segway, allowing for added agility and making it possible to perform sharp turns. On stairs however, its twin rubber tracks descend from the undercarriage to carry the chair over them. Pistons tilt the chair back, keeping the user level in order to compensate for the stair's slant.
The Scalevo could prove to be a boon for wheelchair users and enable them to access buildings and spaces that would otherwise be difficult to reach without a ramp.