Built into a manual chair wheel, Yamaha’s NAVIONE power assist is easy to remove for transport (and just as easy to put back on).
When presented with more severe cases of unequal arm strength, or with clients who hemi propel or propel with one arm and one foot, clinicians and ATPs can use the SmarTune software program to further dial NAVIONE in to that particular case.
Yamaha has heard from therapists who turn down the speed to create a “training mode” for pediatric clients who love to go fast. Using SmarTune software to adjust to specific situations can help clients learn the NAVIONE safely, without running over the dog just for fun. As users learn, get older, or see their conditions or circumstances change, clinicians and ATPs can turn up the system’s power or switch modes to better suit new goals.
The NAVIONE, which fits most rigid and folding models, can be transported in several different ways. The two wheels and the battery add 38 lbs. to the chair. NAVIONE users who travel independently can take the wheels off (each one weighs approximately 15 lbs.) and store wheels and frame in the passenger seat. Or family members can remove the wheels and tuck them and the chair frame into the trunk. If NAVIONE is on a folding chair, family members often prefer to fold the chair with the wheels still on and pop the entire chair into the trunk.
“Our goal,” Klickna said, “is to give them more options.” Yamaha also offers two battery choices. The nickel battery has a range of 12.5 miles per charge under average conditions. The lithium battery averages 25 miles per charge. Since the battery is separate from the wheels, users who buy a spare battery can charge one while using the other.
Yamaha clearly has planned for NAVIONE users who want to roll all day, and the manufacturer has been glad to hear from consumers who used the power assist to conquer fairgrounds, for instance.
But Yamaha has been just as gratified to hear how the NAVIONE has improved quality of life for users with more modest goals.
“We hear from so many people who are so weak, mostly homebound, who want to be independent just in their own homes,” Klickna said. “Maybe they’ve reached a stage where they can’t push themselves. Our product can be pushed by as little as a finger. Some of the stories we’ve been most thankful to be a part of have been from those who used to push, but have given up because of pain or because they don’t have the strength. They’ve accepted that someone else will have to push them from the kitchen to the living room, or to the bathroom.
“Our product can help those who are essentially homebound get around their home or facility. It’s easy to advertise active paraplegics and athletes out there. But for 60- and 70-year-olds still clinging to their independence, this product can really help them in their home.”
Following an unveiling at Vancouver’s International Seating Symposium in March, the NAVIONE is now officially ready to roll — and Yamaha is signing up dealers.
“We are actively looking for providers who have a strong connection to their community, and who hold service as a key component of their success,” said Rob Trester, Division Manager, New Business Development Division at Yamaha. “We expect to provide our dealers with tools and resources so every NAVIONE experience is a positive one. That runs through the core of Yamaha for every product. We look forward to giving our new mobility customers that same level of service so they have the confidence that the NAVIONE is the right choice for them.”