If you use a wheelchair, travelling up stairs is impossible, particularly in public places. A company in France has developed a high-tech electric wheelchair that can climb up and down stairs.

The TopChair-S includes tracks that allow it to climb up steps 20cm high or with a maximum angle of 33 degrees.  

The chair ascends stairs backwards and descends forwards. For user comfort the seat remains horizontal throughout.

It can detect when the stairs begin and end, while a Track Flip Suspension (TFS) system absorbs shocks so it’s comfortable to use.

Check out the video above to see the chair in action.

TopChair-1 electric wheelchair diagram showing it climbing stairs

The wheelchair is controlled using a joystick, with instructions on the flip-out LCD screen.

Powered by two 60 Ah batteries, it has a range of 35km and can reach speeds of 9km/h. It can carry someone with a weight of up to 110kg.

The TopChair-S can work on a variety of terrains, including at home, in a city and across fields, much like the Kickstarter-funded Freedom Chair which had a third wheel designed for off-road use.

Prices for the TopChair-S start at £12,000 with options to customise the seat, tyres, colour and lighting, and leg and arm rests. TopChair confirmed to BT.com it is talking to medical UK distributors. Register interest at www.topchair.fr

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