Exhibitor Karabo Sedumedi demonstrates how a wheelchair works. Picture: Rudzani Matshili

Rudzani Matshili

As today sees the start of the two-day Science Forum South Africa gathering, exhibitors came in their numbers to the CSIR to showcase their products to more than 2 800 delegates from more than 90 countries. 

Among the inventions displayed today is an Augmented Mobility for the Disabled wheelchair developed by Tshwane University of Technology students. 

It focuses on mobility users with general disabilities in their upper limbs. 

Exhibitor Karabo Sedumedi said: “existing wheelchairs seem to not promote safety measures to the mobility aid used by persons with mobility disabilities.

“Mobility aid users often face a number of challenges in their everyday lives such as a debilitations in both their upper and lower limbs,” she said.

"However, with their invention the opposite was the case. 

“This wheelchair requires less energy than your manual controlled wheelchair, this one is aimed at one’s rehabilitation process.

Exhibitor Karabo Sedumedi demonstrates how a wheelchair works.Video: Rudzani Matshili


"For example when you are fresh from hospital and wheelchair bound, you get discouraged because you have to use all your energy pushing but this one makes you relax due to less energy spent on operating it,” she said.

Sedumedi said the energy is rather focused on healing.

The invention also prevents the possibility of wheelchair tipping and collusion with objects according to the exhibitor.