Hungarian company “Rehab, Rt.” is showing off this “Kenguru” concept vehicle for the wheelchair-bound. The back flips open and the operator pulls right inside, then putters down the highway using a joystick controller.
I speak Hungarian about as well as the next American, so I have no idea how far into production this concept might be, but I really like it, combining as it does both the efficiency of small cars and mobility for those who need it.
When I was a kid my parents managed a live-in assisted-living facility for mentally retarded and ill patients, so I spent much of my childhood wheeling people around, loading them into the backs of extended vans, and helping them get into bed. It was a lot of fun. I can say with no snark and only fond recollection of genial spirits that most mentally handicapped were great playmates for a young boy. Plus the state often bought them really expensive construction toys that they’d share with me.
It’s also where I first learned to get poop stains off of drywall and how to staunch the flow of blood from an arterial knife wound before I was 10, but those are stories for another time. I mention it only to say: I find products and research to assist the disabled fascinating and if you ever run across interesting or clever inventions, definitely pass them along.
P.S. I know that “retarded” and “disabled” may not be the preferred nomenclature these days, but having personally seen the labels for those affected change at least half a dozen times in my childhood alone, I just sort of go with what I consider to be the most direct and universal terms. I’m amenable to change, though, if you’ve got a better suggestion.