Folding-wheel carry-on Revolve Air: Future of air travel for wheelchair users

Navigating the vast corridors of an airport and managing the rigors of air travel can be a considerable challenge for wheelchair users. From the risk of their personal wheelchair getting lost or damaged when checked in as luggage to relying on airport-provided chairs, the entire process can be daunting. But, the mobility industry is on the brink of a significant transformation with the advent of the Revolve Air wheelchair.

Two years back, whispers began circulating about a prototype that could revolutionize wheelchair travel. Today, that prototype, designed by the visionary Italian mobility expert, Andrea Mocellin, has been actualized and is on the market through a Kickstarter campaign.

The hallmark of the Revolve Air is undeniably its avant-garde folding wheel mechanism. Traditional spokes are replaced by six folding aluminum structures on each of the two 24-inch wheels. These are housed within an aluminum rim that’s partitioned into six interconnecting segments. For added durability and comfort, each segment features a foam-filled tire.

Safety and stability are paramount, and Mocellin’s design ensures both. A state-of-the-art locking system in the hub guarantees that the wheel functions just like any conventional counterpart when deployed. However, the magic happens when it’s time to fold. Activating a release mechanism enables the hub’s two sides to separate, permitting the wheel’s segments to collapse inward, mirroring the design sensibility of an umbrella.

Revolve Air’s patented folding mechanism.

Not to be overshadowed by its wheels, the Revolve Air’s tubular aluminum frame is crafted to fold as well. When compressed, it envelops the wheels, creating a compact package. This design brilliance achieves a remarkable 60% reduction in size, culminating in a form factor apt for the overhead storage bins of an aircraft. All this innovation, and yet the chair remains lightweight at just 10.8 kg (23.8 lb).

No more checking in wheelchairs and fretting over potential damages. With Revolve Air, users can simply wheel themselves to their seat, fold their chair, and place it overhead.

When folded, the Revolve Air neatly fits into an aircraft’s overhead compartment.

As for pricing, early adopters can secure the Revolve Air via a Kickstarter pledge of around €4,681 (or US$4,901). Its forecasted retail price is a tad steeper at $7,500. For those who might only be eyeing the groundbreaking wheels, a set can be acquired separately for €2,838 ($2,971), with the retail poised at $3,500.

The Revolve Air is not just a product; it’s a promising leap towards more inclusive and hassle-free air travel for wheelchair users. To see the Revolve Air’s innovative design in action, watch the video below.

REVOLVE AIR: World’s Most Compact Active Wheelchair

Source: Kickstarter

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