FDA approves sale of iBOT wheelchair

Aug. 13, 2003 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the sale of the MEMS-enabled iBOT wheelchair.

The Independence iBOT 3000 Mobility System, sold by Johnson & Johnson’s Independence Technology business, will be rolled out during the next few months in clinics across the country. Wider distribution is expected by year’s end, the company said.

The iBOT uses the same MEMS-based stabilization technology as the Segway Human Transporter, and both were invented by Dean Kamen. Kamen’s New Hampshire-based DEKA Research & Development Corp. licensed the iBOT technology to Independence Technology.

The $30,000 wheelchair comes equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers that enable it to climb stairs, handle rough terrain and balance on two wheels as it lifts the user to the height of a standing person.


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