iBot Debuts In Lufkin - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/17/05 - Lufkin

iBot Debuts In Lufkin

by Ramonica R. Jones

The iBot Mobility System is four wheelchairs in one.  It can be raised up to eye level, or to reach for items on a high shelf.  It can even climb stairs.

Joe Havard said, "It just has so many innovations.  You have one you can use in the house, out in the yard, ones you can travel with."

Best of all, the iBot works just as well outside as it does inside.

Andy McCord of Independence Technology said, "You can go, what I call, the all-terrain mode where you can go over four-inch obstacles; curbs that are least four inches high.  You can go through three inches of water or over grass, sand, gravel, things like that."

Joe's been in a wheelchair for 53 years.  Doctors diagnosed him with polio at seven months old.  Joe says the iBot is expensive, but in the end, it's cheaper than making your home wheelchair accessible.

"The environment has been changed to this [standard] type of chair," Havard said.  "If that [iBot Mobility System] was the standard type chair that everyone was able to get, then those changes would not be as necessary."

The iBot Mobility System has been in the works since 1995.  It's a Class 3 medical device, which means you can't get one without a doctor's prescription.

The iBot costs about $29,000.  Some insurance companies are willing to cover some that cost.

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