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Scewo: A 21st Century wheelchair that climbs stairs
A Genuinely Awesome Solution to Wheelchair Mobility Issues
Jimmy Plein
By Jimmy Plein
Dec 18, 2017
10905

The Scewo chair is an updated version of Scalevo which is initiated by Masters students from ETH Zurich and Zhdk majoring in engineering and designing. After years of trial and error, they finally find a way to realize their mission of “developing the wheelchair for the 21st century”.

The notion of a "21st century wheelchair" is easier said than done, but we do know this must be special, and different from the traditional ones that are bulky and easily get stuck when climbing stairs or going over curbs. To get those problems solved, the group worked on thousands of sketches, kept coding and fixing bugs, delivering this Scewo prototype in the long run.  

Scewo incorporates aesthetic design and functionalities together. Due to its compact and minimum design, it is possibly the most stylish wheelchair you have come across. Compact though, it doesn’t compromise on its mobility.


The Scewo features two big wheels with self-balancing system navigating flat floor, steep inclines or spiral stairs. It is common practice to drive or rotate on the flat floor, but it is "an uphill battle" to climb spiral stairs or steep inclines.

The Scewo provides solutions for both. At push of a button, it switches to Stair Mode, lowering rubber tracks for increased traction. According to the designer, this is why the wheelchair can smoothly transport the user up and down most stairs. The wheelchair uses very wide base so that it can stably support the user while navigating the stairs. The same principle also works for the Track Mode that is suitable for “driving” on the slippery surface, such as snow or gravel.

It also provides the Elevated Mode, which allows the user to uplift the chair for an eye contact during conversation or just for grabbing objects that are beyond reach.

Designed to overcome all manners of obstacles, Scewo is easy to maneuver with a joystick, providing users flexibility to drive front and backwards, make agile turns or climb over the curbs.

Driving on the road aside, its compact size fits for all standard doors, which enables users to flexibly go up and down a bus, the subway, and simply make their daily life more pleasant.

As of now the Scewo is only a refined prototype and under intensive development now. The product is expected to hit market by the end of 2018, while the price for this wheelchair and specific launch date are still unknown. 

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