Friday, January 12, 2007

Balance  Function                                                                      

When I first heard about the iBOT, I thought the
Stair Climbing Function would be what I would like
the most about it.  Now that I've done my test drives,
the Balance Function is my favorite.

Balance Function enables the iBOT user to reach
things above them, such as kitchen cupboards and
items on the higher shelves at the grocery store.  It
is also used when you want to have a conversation
with a standing adult at eye level.

There are a number of steps involved in getting to
Balance Function from Standard Function.  However,
the entire process takes only about 10 to 15 seconds.

First you need to get to 4-Wheel Function.  Push and
hold the seat position toggle forward.  This takes
approximately 5 seconds.

The next step involves tilting the seat back.  I don't
particularily like this step because it tilts quite far
back (see photo above).  It does not feel unsafe, but
it feels rather awkward.  

To tilt the seat back, push the selection toggle to the
right.  Next, push the flashing OK button to confirm
that you want to go to Balance Function.  Now push
the seat position toggle left until the seat stops tilting.  
This takes about 3 seconds.

The last step can be achieved in one of three ways:
1.  Push the joystick forward
2.  Push off of a stationary object in line with your 
3.  Shift your head and trunk slightly forward and 
     then backward quickly

The process of moving from the tilted back position
to the Balance Function takes about 2 seconds.  

Balance Function can be used when driving on
reasonably level and smooth ground.  Inclines
should not exceed 5 degrees, and obstacles should
not exceed 1 inch in height.

To transition back to Standard Function, first
transition to 4-Wheel Function by pushing the
seat toggle to the left until the seat stops.  This
takes about 2 seconds.

Next, push the seat position toggle to the left
again until all 4 drive wheels are on the ground.
This takes approximately 4 seconds.  Next push
the seat position toggle back.  This last step
takes about 5 seconds.  

BTW, I was surprised at how quiet the chair is
when it is switching from function to function.  
It's a bit louder going up and down stairs, but
still quite acceptable.

My older sister will be with me next week when
I have my assessment.  I will probably be taller
than her when I'm in Balance Function.  Taller!
And I know I'll be taller than my daughter which
is only natural considering she is nine years old.

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