Get on the ground with the Human HoistDec 23 03:02
Car mechanics with mobility disabilities are sure to love one of the most amazing inventions to come around in a long time: the Human Hoist, which has been getting eons of buzz since being shown on Invention USA last week (a show on the History channel).
It is very aptly called the Human Hoist because of what is does and even though it was originally created with able-bodied mechanics in mind (who get down on their backs a lot; hoping to save them pain down the line), it’s one of the coolest contraptions that could help disabled people to come along in a long time. With the flick of a switch, this machine goes from “sitting mode” to full on tilt-you-back-so-you’re-laying-on-your-back mode, but it doesn’t stop there. Oh no, it gets cooler.
After putting you on your back (very gently of course), the entire contraption lowers itself so you’re about 2-3 inches from the ground (via hydraulics), making it perfect for going under your car to take care of repairs, or anything else. For people with disabilities, the appeal of this machine goes much further than being able to fix cars once more. To have the ability just to get that close to the ground again would seem like some miraculous return of mobility for millions.
And when you’re on your back and that close to the ground, you’ll be able to do a lot of things again other than fixing cars, from the simple stuff like picking things up off the floor to laying closer to the ground (when with able-bodied friends) when sunbathing. The ideas on how to take advantage of this machine if you’re paralyzed are endless.
And there is really no other machine like this, which makes it so buzz-worthy. Sure, there are reachers, transfer machines, but the allure of this machine can’t be beat (although I’m sure it takes a lot of battery power for each use). You may be thinking right now: Where can I purchase one for myself? Well, despite the show saying the invention has been picked up by a manufacturer, the deal fell through, which means they are still shopping around.
The good news at least is that when it does get purchased and mass produced, the hope is that the price won’t exceed $1,000. While that is still a big chunk of change, if you look at it from a wheelchair perspective (where new fangled chairs can cost upwards of $30k), that’s not too bad of a price It doesn’t however have the ability to be driven around like a powerchair when you’re not using it, so that might explain the cheaper price.
Oh man, this machine just blows my mind. I sure do love living in the future (and I’ll take anything I can get until a cure is found).
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.