Cool invention: a new wheelchair that improves mobility


The wheelchair gives people with limited mobility a new way of moving around

If there is one person who knows about moving around smoothly, it is inventor of the Steadicam; Garret Brown. And after changing the film industry forever, he is about to do the same for people with certain impairments that use mobility aids to get around. Brown invented the ‘Zeen’, a comfortable chair that functions as a walker and wheelchair at the same time.


Brown told CBS that he got the idea while visiting his then-97-year-old father who lived in a care facility. “I was watching his pals. And something big seemed to me missing between walkers and wheelchairs. Once you consign yourself to a wheelchair, your feet are not on the ground particularly. You’re not upright. Being upright is great for your cardiac, your bone density, your– your limbic system, your digestive system. And it’s particularly valuable for your psychological well-being. To be up among your fellow humans is one of the things we hear most often that they love about this machine.”

So Brown got to work. It took him and his team of engineers roughly ten years to make the chair into what it is right now.


After finding the right design, Garret Brown started marketing the Zeen at conventions and conferences where he hoped to reach people with limited mobility. And so far, he has already produced a hundred Zeens. One customer, Anomie Fatale, told CBS: “Not being able to do a sit to stand yourself like that,” Fatale said, “it gives you back something that you lost that you miss every day.”

A demonstration by Brown in a video by CBS, shows how people using the Zeen can sit ánd stand while in the chair. This will give people with limited mobility a whole new way of moving around. Brown said: “The instant that we give you this, A. degree of freedom, and, B. autonomy. And that’s an important word with this. When you’re in it and you’re safe, you’re on your own.”

Brown has even contacted pope Francis to provide him with a Zeen that is currently in the pope’s apartment. Brown’s ultimate goal? “Inventing is what we do for a good life,” Brown told CBS. “Inventing a life is imagining what you want, that is to say, what’s missing, and what do you have to do to get there.” He hopes to help as many people with his new invention and wants everyone to know that the Zeen is here to help.

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Source: CBS | Image: Unsplash, Markus Spiske