An electric wheelchair that can climb most stairs, including spiral staircases, has been developed by Zurich-based students. The Scalevo Wheelchair can mount one stair per second and was designed by 10 students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and the Zurich University of the Arts.
When being used on normal flat ground, it balances on two wheels like a Segway and allows users to turn on the spot in order to quickly change direction. Two rubber tracks mounted to the bottom of the chair can be summoned at the press of a button to allow the user to climb stairs.
According to Carlos Gomes, of ETH Zurich, "We have two main wheels, two large wheels to drive around on the flat ground in a balancing mode like a Segway. And then we have two rubber tracks which we can extend to the angle of the stairs and let the wheelchair be always upright on every angle on the stairs."