Nano-Optonics Energy Launches Unimo That Can Travel Over Anything

May 1, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The conventional wheelchair setup takes a new turn with Unimo, a one-seater electric vehicle (EV), from the house of Nano-Optonics Energy. The company, based in Japan, has designed and launched a wheelchair that looks akin to a sofa on wheels.

Instead of the normal wheelchair wheels, on the Unimo, rubber crawler tracks are present which allows it to traverse on any terrain. The EV can even make 360° turns, which is pretty useful when getting in and out of an elevator.

A torsion bar suspension (independent suspension) allows the EV to climb over a 15 cm step. This is a remarkable improvement over traditional wheelchairs that can climb only around 8 cm.


The Unimo also assists its users in getting on and off. When the user is getting on or off the electric vehicle, the rear part of e seat will rise at a 30° angle.

When the EV is in motion, the seat can be tilted using electric power. Moreover, when about to traverse an inclined slope, the sensor detects the inclination and tilts the seat accordingly to make the wearer comfortable during the ride.

According to this report, the Unimo can get on or off a train, move over rutted roads and gravel roads as well as traverse smoothly over sand beaches. There is a joystick that can be used to control the Unimo.

It is relatively easy to control, as the user need only to tilt the joystick in the direction that he wants the Unimo to go. The maximum speed the EV can achieve is 6 km/h, and the whole system would take around 5.5 hours to get fully charged.

The Unimo won’t grace any individual’s house at present as Nano-Optonics Energy will be only selling the vehicle to hospitals and care facilities.

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