Photo by Charlie Samuels

I’ve been New Mobility’s reporter on the iBOT beat since the beginning. A barrage of network news shows introduced the chair to the world in 2003. Back then I interviewed Dean Kamen, its celebrated inventor, and many of its original testers. I wrote about trying out an early iBOT at J&J’s New Jersey headquarters. Later, I did a story about the new model and its happy owners.

The problem with the iBOT was that it never had enough buyers. Despite its many wondrous features – stair climbing, rolling over curbs, across beaches, raising you eye-to-eye with a standing world – sales of the chair were crushingly disappointing.