Kenguru - Improved Mobility for Disabled People

Interesting Engineering

Kenguru_Cruiser_2012_0003.jpg4964b0d9-91ad-4b6e-a403-19a3db19356fLarge[Image Source: Kenguru]

Kenguru is an electric vehicle created especially to serve disabled people on wheelchairs. This vehicle will allow such people to feel less helpless and more independent by providing them the ability to go to the shop, for example, on their own. And eliminating the necessity of a personal assistant or engaging of a family member for that purpose.

kenguru drive[Image Source: Kenguru]

Modifying of a regular car to be suitable for wheelchair users may cost up to $80 000 which is too expensive for many people.

Kenguru (which means “kangaroo” in Hungarian and some other European languages) has body of fiberglass that weighs around 350 kg (772 pounds). This weight is increased by the batteries which add another 194kg to reach overall weight of 544 kg (1200 pounds).

Batteries provide power for a pair of 2kW electric motors which propel the rear wheels. “A pair of 2kW electric motors” means that the overall power output is just slightly more than 5 hp. This power allows top speed of just 45 km/h (28 mph). However, a disabled person doesn’t need a powerful racing car. He or she just needs to reach from point A to point B as safe as possible, which makes understandable such "non powerful" characteristics.

Kenguru-Electric-Car-Back-Door[Image Source: Kenguru]

Being a single passenger vehicle defines the small dimensions of the vehicle. Its length is 212 cm (83.6 inches) and is wide 162 cm (63.8 inches), which is a little shorter and just slightly wider than two seats Smart car. The battery charge provides range between 69 and 109 km (43 and 68 miles). The vehicle could overwhelm slopes with angle of up to 20 degrees.

The micro car is accessible through a single door at the rear side and there is a space for one wheelchair passenger inside. The driver directs the car via handles like in a motorcycle. The company is trying to develop and a joystick controller and Kenguru initiated crowd-funded campaign on RocketHub .

kenguru-ev-with-wheelchair[Image Source: Kenguru]

Each Kenguru could be bought for $25 000 but the price could be lowered in case of available rehabilitation or electric vehicles incentives.

The car was developed in Hungary, but the lack of funding brought Kenguru in Pflugerville, Texas, USA. It was done by Stacy Zoern, a lawyer in the same city who got tired of all obstacles she faces as a wheelchair user.


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