Japanese Robotics Experts Unveil Sci-Fi Wheelchair

From Space Daily, Tokyo (AFP), 26 August 2009

Robotic concept wheelchair
Robotic Rodem Wheelchair.

Robotics and medical experts in Japan on Wednesday unveiled the prototype of a new hi-tech electric wheelchair that resembles a scooter and promises greater mobility.

Users ride astride the four-wheeled Rodem—rather than sitting in it, as in a conventional wheelchair—steer it with a joystick and hold onto motorbike-style handles while the knees and chest rest on cushions.

The design allows users to slide more easily on and off the vehicle, lessening reliance on care-givers to lift them, the inventors said.

Read more at
https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Japan_robotics_experts_unveil_sci-fi_wheelchair_999.html

Accessible Train Travel in Canada & the U.S.

Canada

See Visit Canada to find out what documents you need to travel, visit family and friends, do business, or transit through Canada.

  • Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities by the Canadian Transportation Agency
  • Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) Accessible Transportation includes information about accessible transportation throughout Canada. [Select English or French]  Updated

    Access to Travel, your special needs information source, will provide you with facts on accessible transportation and travel across Canada with the aim of making accessible travel easy and enjoyable! This site, created by Transport Canada, has a wealth of information on adapted tourism in Canada as well as a detailed list of Canadian transportation companies offering accessible local, intercity, and national service.

  • Allergies, special meals, and medication

    Get the information you need on the range of special meals offered on VIA trains, medication transportation and storage, and the policy on oxygen bottles:

    • Allergies and special meals
    • Medication
    • Oxygen bottles

Crossing the Border

Traveling by Train

VIA Rail in Canada and Amtrak in the U.S. have excellent services for special needs. To be sure you receive the service you need, purchase your tickets over the telephone and let them know what you need. Services vary from train to train and station to station but if they know in advance what you need, they will be able to help you.

Do the stations have wheelchair access? Can you bring a guide dog or get around in the trains by wheelchair?

Canada: VIA Rail Accessible Services

A woman in a Via Rail wheelchair lift is helped into the train car by Via Rail staff.
Wheelchair lifts are not required at the Montréal and Québec City stations, where the platforms are level with the train doors. All other wheelchair-accessible stations have devices used to lift the wheelchair and/or the passenger from the station platform to the train door. These lifts can safely handle a maximum weight of 272 kg (600 lb.) and mobility aids up to 56 in. (142 cm) long.

To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:

To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:

U.S.A.

U.S.: Amtrak Accessible Services

To make reservations for accessible space on Amtrak, purchase your tickets over the phone or in person at an Amtrak ticket counter.

  • By telephone: Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • By TDD/TTY: Please call 1-800-523-6590. Agents are available from 5 am to 1 am EST, seven days a week.
  • At an Amtrak ticket counter: Ticket agents at staffed stations can sell tickets during regular ticket office hours. Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) for details.

Up until 14 days before the departure of each train from its origin city, reservations for accessible bedrooms may be made only for passengers who are mobility impaired. After this period, and if all other Deluxe and Family bedrooms have been reserved, accessible bedrooms are made available to all passengers on a first-come, first-served basis. For this reason, you are urged to make your reservations as far in advance of travel as possible. On the Accessible Travel Services page, information about special needs and accessibility is available about:  Updated