Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bamboo wheelchair to make metal detectors stay calm at Air Ports Security


Persons with disabilities especially those who use wheelchairs for mobility have some reason to smile! Every time they passed through the Airport security the security devices and metal detectors would start buzzing the moment the wheelchair passed through them and then followed a very rigid regime of examination, questions and physical inspection. It was often humiliating and embarrassing!

Soon it may be done away with- provided Indian agencies also adopt it.  DGCA and aerodrome operators have to take lead to make this happen. We have a National Mission on Bamboo Applications (under Department of Science & Technology) Govt of India and Bamboo development Boards across states which can emulate this remarkable idea and build around this technology.

Here is what Japan Airlines has done. It has developed a bamboo wheelchair for use at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in an effort to speed up security checks. This wheelchair allows passengers to pass through metal detectors at security gates in the airport more smoothly. Without causing the metal detectors to go off, traveling might become a little easier in the near future for people with disabilities. The frame of wheelchair is made entirely from bamboo with rubber tires and carbon wheels. Completely handmade, each wheelchair costs some ¥600,000($7,167). The project is partially financed by donations from celebrities, including baseball commentator Norihiro Akahoshi, a former Hanshin Tigers outfielder who suffered serious damage to his spinal cord while he was a player.

The Airline and a workshop in Oita Prefecture, which is known for bamboo production, worked on developing the chair together. The wheelchair has no materials made of metal and is 90 percent bamboo, including the brake gear. The parts which aren’t made of bamboo are the shock absorbers,  tires, wheels, and axles which are made of reinforced plastic. The chair has been proven to be quite comfortable and has passed endurance tests. The development of the chair has taken four years, and each chair is hand-crafted.

To have a look at how this wheelchair looks like and for further reading:  click on link Bamboo Wheelchair Eases Airport Security   

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