Enter the iBot


The Problem

Dean Kamen and his team developed the iBot, a machine that resembles a standard power wheelchair, but it is more compact and narrower than a traditional wheelchair and has the unique ability to balance on two-wheels. The iBot is controlled and maintained by a sophisticated array of gyroscopes, electric motors, and computers. And while traditional wheelchairs are designed primarily to move a disabled person from point A to point B, the iBot is designed to climb stairs, roll through sand and over rough terrain, and can even raise the height of it user to reach the top of shelves. Based upon some of the specifications of the iBot, this project studies the movement and abilities of the iBot as it handles curbs, stairs, and adjusting the seat height.

Background Information

  • The unit contains background information on the operation of the iBot, to include links to additional resources and a video clip of the iBot in use.

Materials Included

There are three versions of this project: one intended for pre-algebra students, one for algebra students, and one for geometry students. Each unit contains the following:

  • Background information on the operation of the iBot
  • Links for further research
  • Various problems regarding the operation of the iBot: climbing curbs or stairs, raising the seat, etc.