Monday, March 31, 2008

"Sick" must be the new "Cool"

I was at the mall today. I was in Balance and
a group of teenage boys passed me and I heard
one of them say, "Those chairs are sick!"

Then a little later a guy stopped me to ask
me about it. He was in his late teens or early
20s I'd guess. He said, "That is sick!"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Go Dean, Go Dean

I'm one out of the small group of people whose
life has changed because of this guy.

Kamen and Colbert

Yay, two of my favorite people got together again!

The last time (and I think the only other time)
Kamen was on The Colbert Report was when he
talked about the iBOT. He doesn't talk about
the iBOT this time, but it's still worth watching.

iBOT: Taking me places I've never gone before

Like birthday parties for goats.

Here are two of the four goats who turned
2 yesterday:

Note the hats and one of the two birthday cakes. Jean-Luc
is sporting the red hat, while Chloe is stylin' in blue.

I had to go up a long and somewhat steep gravel path to
get to the par-tay. Here I am coming down the long and
somewhat steep gravel path. (I'm attempting to hide in
my coat and behind my hair as it was freakin' freezing.)

There is no way I could have gotten up there in my manual
chair. And I doubt any powerchair other than the bot
in 4-Wheel Drive would have been able to handle it.

Once I got to the top, the bot got me in the barn. Had
I been in my manual, people would have had to carry me
into the barn due to a step up and step down. Any other
powerchair other than the bot could not have done it.

And it's a good thing I got in because that is where
the cake was. The humans ate cake and sang "Happy Birthday"
to the goats, and the goats ate organic raisins. Instead
of playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, the kids played
Put the Party Hat on the Goat. A good time was had
by all.

Editted to add: The bot also allowed me to NOT get
mud and goat poop all over my hands.


I went to CA over a month ago without my iBOT.
I haven't written about it yet because I've been
lazy, busy, and/or sick.

Overall, I'm glad I didn't take the bot. It would
have been a major pain in the ass transporting it
from the airport to Disneyland to Hollywood and
back to the airport. I also didn't have to worry
about the baggage handlers breaking it. And, if I had
gone into Innovations at Disneyland in the bot,
people would have thought I was there to demonstrate

My daughter really wanted to see Hollywood. We
gawked at star's names for a few blocks and then
headed back for the car. Near the end I had my
sister take a picture of my dirty hands.

One thing I don't miss about the manual chair
at all is the dirty hands.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Question from a reader

Anonymous said...

It is great that you had the nerve to teach the class. Congratulations. Do you find that most of the day you use the iBOT or do you use some other chair most of the time?

My response:

Thank you! I hope I never have to do it again!!!

I use my manual chair all of the time when I'm home.
I use my iBOT almost everytime I leave the house. I
tend to be in and out all day, so I switch between the
iBOT and my manual frequently. I could use the iBOT
in my house, but I find the manual chair easier to
manuever in tight spaces... of which there are many
in my house. Also, I have to be much more careful
in the iBOT because it's so powerful. If I used the
iBOT in the house, I'd probably have some holes in
the walls!

An interesting comment from a reader

Sands_PhD said...

Well, I have to speak up as a power chair user for 35 years: the iBot is a gimmick. I tested one in '07: they are overpriced, extremely large and heavy, ungainly, unsuited to most urban environment (think of the Segway). Most staircases are too problematic for them to traverse safely unaided. Any netizen is entitled to their opinion and I welcome efforts to advance the technology, but this is a step backwards.

My response:
Thank you for your interesting comment. I disagree with
everything you wrote except for the part about most
staircases being too problematic. The stair climbing
function is the only thing that has disappointed me.

Overpriced - I don't think it is overpriced compared to other
power chairs. In general it is overpriced, but that is no
different from any other durable medical equipment.

Extremely large - I'm surprised you think it's extremely
large. Compared to my manual, it is very large, but
compared to other power chairs, it seems quite reasonable.
In fact, I think it is even narrower than most power chairs.

Heavy - It's close to 300 pounds. I thought it would be

Ungainly - Okay that one I might agree with.

Unsuited to most urban environments - I think the iBOT
is way better suited to urban environments than the average
power chair. We live in a world that is built for
average adult height comfort. Think of all the high
counters, displays that are difficult or impossible
to see when in a seated postion, having conversations
with standing adults, and reaching things on high shelves.

A gimmick? I hear, respect, and can appreciate that you've
expressed this opinion, but I completely disagree.

A step backwards? Really? I hope you elaborate on this.