Design company teams up with Formula 1 to create world's lightest wheelchair

Credit: K?schall/Cover Images

A Swiss company has teamed up with Formula 1 to create the world's lightest wheelchair.

Wheelchair manufacturing company Küschall has aimed to redefine the rules of wheelchairs by utilizing aerospace materials and working in partnership with Formula 1 manufacturers to secure the most unprecedented and ultimate driving performance available on the market today.

Created by industrial designer and project leader for Küschall Andre Fangueiro, the Superstar wheelchair features a 1.5kg frame which is 30% lighter and 20% stronger compared to classic carbon models. The chair is built using a semi-metal known as graphene. Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 10 times tougher than diamond, but still incredibly flexible and ultra-lightweight.

It is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms, tightly bound in a hexagonal lattice.

"Superb power transfer through the entire frame will mean the Superstar responds rapidly with every movement, combined with impressive road dampening properties, the Superstar will provide an effortless glide anywhere you go," the company said in a press release.

The design aims to combat the 50-70% of wheelchair users who end up with upper extremity injuries after the first 10-15 years. In order to ease these chances the wheels have been positioned in closer proximity to the user which helps to increase propelling efficiency. Its X-shaped geometry is said to result in increased performance and direct drive. There's an integrated seat cushion and a bespoke backrest that can be adjusted without needing to raid the toolbox. On either side of the footplate and to the rear of the mono post is an LED light built into the frame, which tips the scales at under 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), and mudguards will help shield the user from whatever the wheels throw up.

As of writing, there's no word on when production is due to begin, or how much the Superstar will cost.

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