Dani-Schirmer,-Spinergy-ZX-1Until recently, wheelers with limited arm movement and/or limited endurance had to choose between a manual chair and power chair.  This changed when Spinergy introduced the ZX-1, a unique power drive unit that turns a manual chair (rigid or folding) into a joystick-controlled power chair — in seconds.

Attaching the ZX-1 is simple. Just back your manual chair between the unit’s tubular armrests and press the “chair mount button” on the joystick. This engages a clamshell-like tube that robotically clamps around the chair’s camber tube (for folding chairs, the clamp goes around a ZX-1 add-on swing-away/quick-release camber tube) and lifts the rear wheels slightly off the ground. Voilà! — you now have a power chair that can cruise pavement, grass, gravel and slopes up to six degrees. Top speed is set at 3.5 mph, but can be reprogrammed to 5 mph after you become comfortable with operating the chair. The range is 5 miles with standard batteries and 9 miles with optional lithium batteries.

The ZX-1 weighs 82 pounds with standard batteries and 75 pounds with Lithium batteries. Quick release armrests make it easy for strong friends to load the compact unit into the trunk of a car or for airline employees to load onto a plane. However, for air-tr