Demand for personal vehicles is increasing. Mobility aids such as wheelchairs play an important role in the lives of aged or handicapped people. However, although they can move forward and backward, wheelchairs are not capable of traverse movement. Traverse motion often becomes necessary when, for example, the user of a wheelchair moves toward their bed in a hospital room or when they are in a crowded elevator. In such situations, the users have difficulty moving because wheelchairs are not able to move in a traverse direction.
Through his research, Associate Prof. Masaharu Komori has developed a new vehicle, the Permoveh (Personal mobile vehicle), in order to solve that problem. The Permoveh is able to move not only forward and backward direction, but also in a traverse direction. In addition, it is possible to move diagonally and turn. The Permoveh makes it easy to move in small spaces because of its highly advanced motion ability. This technology could also be applied to transportation vehicles used in factories or warehouses.