Nissin Medical — the Japanese wheelchair manufacturer very well known at home, but still new to the U.S. market — showed off its Patrafour power chair at Medtrade in Atlanta in September.
The Patrafour features a four-wheel-drive power base, but its unusual front wheels are most immediately eye catching. The tread, which visually resembles a circular formation of rubber suction cups, enables Patrafour to spin and pivot on its back wheels. That means the chair is capable of turning entirely around in its own space, much like a mid-wheel-drive power chair — but without an extra set of wheels or casters. Yes, the Patrafour has just four wheels, despite its maneuverability.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, Patrafour is a joint project between Nissin Medical and a Japanese manufacturer that’s already a household name in the States: Toyota.
Patrafour is currently in the midst of the FDA approval process, so it’s not yet available. But for more information on Nissin’s other chairs — including lines of manual rigid, folding, pediatric and sports chairs — go to www.nissinusa.net, or call (877) NISSIN7.