News about handicap and chronic illness

REAGIRO - The first freehand manoeuvrable wheelchair

Monday, January 22. 2018

REAGIRO is the first manual wheelchair for everyday use that can be manoeuvred hands-free.

Ergonomic operation and the associated positive user experience are at the heart of this new concept. The purely mechanical control system has a fixed front axle and is steered by lateral tilting of the upper body, whereby the movements performed strengthen the back muscles. Hands and shoulders have a lesser load than is the case with commercial models and it is also possible, while driving, to hold a cell phone, a coffee or an umbrella. This combination of more freedom of movement and intuitive control results in a more varied driving experience and increases the satisfaction of using a wheelchair.

For his industrial design master thesis, Swiss designer Reto Togni has further developed the standard hand wheelchair.
He has developed a wheelchair that has a fixed front axle and can be controlled by lateral tilting of the upper body. The advantage of this model is that the hands of the wheelchair user remain free. "It can compared to the manoeuvres required to steer a bobsleigh as opposed to a normal Davoser sled, which one steers using feet as brakes." Reto does not have clinical studies for his "REAGIRO" yet, but the first testers confirmed a therapeutic effect: The control of the wheelchair through the upper body has a strengthening effect on the muscles of the torso.

Who can benefit from the new wheelchair?

So far, the new wheelchair has been tested with paraplegics who are paralyzed at different levels of the thoracic spine. These tests showed that "REAGIRO" offers promising advantages. For a test person it was like dancing, for others like cycling. It just made them happy, and that in itself is an advantage. For other test persons, the advantage was practical: you can easily move around in the wheelchair with one hand while writing a text message or drinking coffee with the other. Then there is the medical side. I cannot promise anything yet, but we assume that the new wheelchair could have a therapeutic value because it makes a greater use of the upper body more while exerting less demand on the hands.

Website Reto Togni -