Israeli Company Reinvents The Wheel – Literally

Wheeling down a flight of stairs may no longer be a formidable challenge for those confined to a wheelchair. Israeli company SoftWheel has developed a next-generation wheel that has its own inner-suspension system for shock absorption.

SoftWheel is the brainchild of Gilad Wolf, a farmer who found himself bound to a wheelchair for three weeks. “Four years ago, I broke my pelvis, when I was wheeled to the synagogue one day, I was in agony when we went over some Ackerstein stones (a traditional stone used for sidewalks in Israel, which has many grooves).

I work with tractors and I noticed that tractors have a simple and ingenious airbag-based shock-absorbing construct. So I put two and two together: I built a wheelchair and combined a similar construct for each wheel. It made the wheelchair experience completely different. I took the idea and started to roll with it,”

While the company’s first product, Acrobat, is designed for wheelchairs, the company believes its product has a much wider-ranging application. “We understood very quickly that it’s not only a wheelchair product, but a complete game-changer,” CEO Daniel Barel tells NoCamels, “it is a platform for anything that has wheels.”

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Bottom line: The shocks are in the wheels!

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