Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Comment from a reader

The following is a comment left by an iBOT user.
I wanted to put it "out here" because I think
it's valuable information.

I use an iBot in the mountains of Colorado at 10,000 ft where there's no pavement or sidewalks. On the plus side, the 4wd function is outstanding for accessing places off road, off path and when there's snow, mud, sand, obstacles, etc. The standing function is great for taking walks with friends, reaching high and for viewing over objects (I've used it to get an unobstructed camera angle at times), but don't use it in a public place if you want to be left alone - it's a real attention getter. Most stairs are climbable if there are handrails and your PT has certified you to use them, or if you have a trained assistant along. Very fast in standard mode - 7.8 mph.

My gripes: No suspension - traveling over rough ground can be jarring. Pneumatic tires - no option, I'm just waiting to catch that nail or large thorn when I'm far from home. Joy stick too sensitive - very hard to move slowly and smoothly, especially on rough ground. Tight spaces are a no-no in balance or 4wd - the computers and gyros will try to compensate for external forces - not good. Stairs are scary - never had a problem, but I avoid them when I can. You need to practice often to keep confident. It is not invincible, I have been stuck in 6 inches of snow. It has got to have grip - in all functions. Last, I wish the footrests could be adjusted closer to 90 degrees. They can't because of the large front casters.

In my opinion, the gripes are minor inconveniences compared to the benefits. The iBot will go places and do things that absolutely no other chair can. That being said, I'll still use my power assisted manual chair most often. It's more comfortable, smaller and keeps me more active. Hope this helps.



Thank you Brent! I agree with every thing you said.


Anonymous said...

As far as comment from reader you can always purchase upgraded seat and foot rest for 4,500 dollars more which I think ibot needs to discount for current owners.

Irv said...

I agree with Brent mostly. I too find myself switching to a chair with a shorter wheel base when I get back in the house. There is a joystick response issue with the iBOT that makes you take it slow through doorways and narrow aisles. I think I have different footrests than Brent as my knees are bent close to 90 degrees and there is more ease putting it in the car than the BOT I originally test drove in March. One issue that has arisen is the charger. I once used the deep discharge method of leaving the chair on in update mode and turning on the headlights to drain the batteries when I plugged in the charger. A neat system. After a couple hours the batteries were drained and the chair powered off and it started charging. Next morning however there were two steady red malfunction lights on the charger. The batteries were only 60% charged. I hope it doesn't happen again but it is an issue.

Shannon said...

Irv, did you contact IT about the charger issue? They're so good about
resolving any issues.

When did you get your iBOT? I'm thinking you probably have the new seating system with the better footrests.

Thanks anonymous for the info about the upgrade. I just wish I could afford to purchase one. : (

Irv said...

I got the new iBOT at the end of August so, yes, it has the new seat and footrests. And I haven't talked with IT about the charger problem. It works fine in normal charging situations so I thought I would wait and see if it happens again.