Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Practicing Using the iBOT                                                         

I have this cool CD-ROM that gives me "a 
virtual experience of the innovative functions 
and features of the iBOT 4000 Mobility System".  
It's just like a video game.  For example, it puts
you at the top of the stairs and then you are
supposed to click on the correct buttons, toggles,
and/or joystick to put it into stair climbing mode.
If you click on the correct ones, it takes you down
the flight of stairs successfully.  However, if you
get it wrong, like say you push the joystick forward,
it crashes down the stairs, breaks into pieces and
the sharp pieces fly all over the place and impale 
innocent bystanders.   And then it bursts into 
flames when it hits the bottom.  

There is another scenario when you're cruising
at 8mph down the sidewalk in standard function
and you see that you are approaching a curb.  
I'm guessing you are supposed to stop, put it in
4 wheel function, and proceed to climb the curb.
Being that I am a person of very little self-control,
I keep travelling in the standard function and slam
into the curb.  It sends me flying out of the chair,
and I skid to a stop on my face.  Then an ambulance
comes and rushes me to the ER where I have
to get a bunch of stitches.   More stuff happens,
but I haven't gotten past the part where I'm
discussing options with the plastic surgeon. 

Now I don't know how they do this, but this is the
super cool part.  I can actually feel the sidewalk
scraping my face off and the shot in the ER to
numb the area before the doctor stitches me
up.  When the numbness starts to wear off,
it's fairly painful, but the morphine helps a lot.  

I'm telling ya, this thing is going to be hot.  The
kids will be snapping these CD's up once word
gets out.

Okay, truth is, it does take you through different
scenarios, but if you get it incorrect, it tells you
you got it wrong and to try again.  It is a pretty
neat program... but the 12 year old boys aren't
going to be begging to borrow it.

It did make me think of something though.  After
you climb the stairs, you are supposed to put it
back into standard function and then back away
from the stairs.  You are only inches from the
top of the stairs and what if you are distracted
and you accidently push the joystick forward
instead of back?  That would not be a pretty
sight.  One might argue that it's no different
from a powerchair, but it actually is different
because in a powerchair, when would you ever
be in the situation of heading straight on to a
flight of stairs only inches away from the top
step?  Maybe the iBOT people made it so that
you cannot go forward immediately after climbing
stairs.  If anyone happens to know the answer
to my question (Bill?), leave a comment! 


Anonymous said...

practising? isn't it spelled practicing? this comment is from G Evil......

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Yes, I think you are correct darling. I will change it.