Heathrow, in partnership with its special assistance service provider OmniServ, recently showcased a revolutionary Japanese-designed WHILL high-tech wheelchair to mark the 10th anniversary of International Wheelchair Day.
The WHILL – which has been dubbed "the world's most futuristic-looking wheelchair" – was designed by a start-up company created by a team of engineers from Japanese companies Sony, Toyota, Olympus and Panasonic.
When used in conjunction with beacon technology, mobile devices and other high-tech systems, WHILL wheelchairs can be controlled using smartphones, can travel in convoy through an airport and can be programmed to move themselves to where they are needed, without passengers or attendants.
OmniServ, the UK’s leading airline and airport assistance services provider, working in partnership with the airlines at Heathrow, has deployed nearly 100 innovative new ProMove Sling devices across the airport’s terminals, significantly enhancing the level of care offered to PRM (People with Reduced Mobility) passengers.
The ProMove Sling is an easily transportable, lightweight option for lifting and transferring PRM passengers when it is impractical to deploy a powered hoist. When used correctly by properly trained staff, it is safe, comfortable and dignified, reducing the need for support personnel to touch the passenger or the danger of causing any injury such as bruising or shearing.