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While Segways were making a splash all around the world, this New Zealand engineer invented something incredible using the same technology. When his best friend Marcus Thompson became a paraplegic as a result of a skiing accident, engineer Kevin Halsall invented a hands-free, battery-operated wheelchair. Did he know he was changing the lives of people across the world when he decided to help his friend?

The new design is called Ogo, and it’s slogan is “grab life by the wheels!” We couldn’t agree more. Check out the full video here:

It’s hard to imagine a wheelchair without buttons, handles, or manually-operated wheels that allows you to give your core muscles a workout all the time. This is the first “smartchair,” one that responds to body movements such as tipping and leaning. Mr. Thompson commented: “It’s one of the life affirming things that this machine does, it puts you in touch with your whole body again.” We think that’s amazing, and it’s no surprise that Mr. Halsall’s prototype is a finalist in the National Innovators Awards.

As of yet, this product is still in production mode, but we hope it will be manufactured and and available to buy soon. Want to know how much its estimated cost is? Halsall wants to keep it affordable within the $10,000 – $20,000 range.

I’m very excited for this! It would be the beginning of a new era for the physically handicapped.