Scalevo is now Scewo!

Scalevo is now Scewo!

Dear Friends of Scalevo,

Today we are announcing a change in our name, we are now Scewo!.

Because of legal issues we needed to change the name. However, our vision remains unchanged: To deliver a wheelchair with a customer-oriented design and an affordable price that will change the life of many people.

With this new name we are going to face the great challenges we have ahead. After the Cybathlon in October, we will start designing the final version of the Scewo wheelchair.

As for now, we are working really hard because Cybathlon 2016 is approaching. We have already done some tests and the wheelchair is performing great!

Stay tuned for more news and don’t forget to check out our new website –

Team Scewo


Donation Button launched

We have just launched a donation button on our homepage. Help us to give back the freedom to ascend stairs to wheelchair drivers!

Scalevo is currently supported by ETH Zürich and funded by many sponsors and personal donations. To ensure an ongoing improvement of the Scalevo wheelchair we rely on a continuous budget to cover the costs of development and production. Thus we need to invest a lot of our time in acquiring new sponsors and partners. At the same time, we are reached by people in need of a device like Scalevo regularly. Help us to spend more time on the actual technical development to bring this technology to the people in need faster.

Your donation will help us financing the ongoing development costs for the production of a new prototype of Scalevo until the Cybathlon competition in October 2016.
Our goal is to win the Cybathlon. This will raise public attention for the problems handicapped people are confronted with every day and that technology exists which could help them overcome these obstacles. Our long-term vision is to bring the Scalevo wheelchair technology onto the market for an affordable price.

Donate now – Thank you!

Survey for the next Iteration

The last year was very exciting for us. We built a stair climbing wheelchair from scratch and received great feedback from all over the world. We were featured in numerous blogs, newspapers and TV shows. Our video got almost 2 million views and we won the National Instruments Student Design Competition as well as the iCreate Singapur Student Innovation Challenge.
We want to build upon this success and develop the Scalevo wheelchair further to make it even better.

We’d like to know what you think of the Scalevo wheelchair and how to make it better. This way we can already use your inputs in our new design. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and it would help us a lot if you took the time to complete it. We thank you already for your efforts!


Complete the Survey here!


With your inputs we want to build a second version of the Scalevo wheelchair. We want to focus especially on making it safe, robust and affordable. Cybathlon 2016 gives us a great opportunity to verify the first two qualities: safety and robustness. We want to win the challenge and show everyone how versatile our wheelchair is. Then we want to work another year on the chair to build the third iteration: an affordable solution.


Rollout in ETH Zürich main building

The rollout presentation of our project was a huge success! The wheelchair was demonstrated to the public in the main building of ETH Zürich. A wooden stair was used show how the stair climbing process works. We are currently working on increasing the speed “step by step”. The goal is to reach a speed of 1 step / second which is the maximum possible by our current hardware configuration.

SRF1 – Einstein TV Show

During the past two weeks the Swiss national TV visited us at out headquarters to film our project. They were very interested in our project and showed it in a show called “Einstein”. It was a nice experience to work with the regisseur and camera crew during the two days of shooting the film.



Thanks to Peter Höllrigl for this cool documentation of our current state in the project.


The goal of our project is to develop and build a powered wheelchair in 10 months. This requires a tight timetable and there is not much room for errors. As a result of this timeframe it is not possible to make a prototype of each module to make sure it is working properly. These modules are: chair, frame, battery system, support system, balancing, tracks, tilt mechanism and drive chain.
We sorted the systems according to their risk and impact on our final system. We decided to build and test the three most critical systems which are crucial for a successful product. These are the balancing system, the clutch and the tracks.



The balancing system shall consist of a Segway-like construction. We wanted to use as many of the final parts as possible. This means using a chain to drive the wheels, the motors and controllers as well as the IMU planned for the final version.


The clutch prototype shall consist of the clutch, a servo motor and an encoder as well as a drive motor. We want to figure out if using a single lever has enough force or if additional constructive measurements have to be made. Also we want to read if the clutch is opened or closed using the encoder built in the servo motor.


The goal of the track prototype is to test the behaviour on the stairs. We calculated the required strength and made estimations for the friction coefficient. Nevertheless it is important to compare this theoretical values with practical experience. For this reason we manufactured a prototype which takes advantage of the tensioning mechanism and the tracks we ordered. For propulsion we used replacement motors from Maxon which give us the same torque as the final ones but at a lower speed.

Focus Project

Focus projects are projects for students of mechanical engineering in the last year of the bachelor. Sometimes students of electric engineering join them to help with the electronics. In most of the projects the goal is to build a prototype of a product you could sell. To achieve that there are also industrial designers from the ZHdK that help build the prototype.

The main purpose of those projects are the didactic. In some projects there were also patents applied.

This is a list of some focus projects from the ETH:


In this post is about our vision and our product and how we got there.


Early in 2013 all students of Mech. Eng. were informed about the focus projects an the ETH. Focus projects are designed to put the knowledge acquired at ETH to practical use. Most projects are initiated by professors and their department. Nevertheless students have the opportunity to apply for a project of their own.

Our project began with an idea of Beni Winter, he wanted to develop a robot able to climb stairs. This machine should balance on one wheel and transport a camera for the purpose of filming. Basically something like the rezero able to film and climb stairs with a high degree of agility. After a couple of meetings with Prof. Sigwart we decided to build a wheelchair capable of climbing stairs. The project got accepted and we presented it all other colleges. This resulted in a team of seven Mech. Eng. students and one electrical engineer. To give our product a good design two Zhdk students joined our team.

In the summer break of 2014 we wanted to decide how our wheelchair should climb stairs.We had several concepts, which we narrowed down to two options:

A wheelchair with big wheels. The bigger the wheels the more the stairs become like a ramp. A support arm makes sure the chair is always in a safe position and can not fall down.


The second idea was to put four rubber tracks on the side of the wheelchair. The rubber tracks should be tilted down to climb stairs and move up to drive around.



The problem with the idea with big wheels was that this is not very comfortable and secure. On the other hand the rubber tracks are very heavy and the system would be very complex. So we decided to take the best of both worlds.



Hi there

We just had fun setting up this website. Hope you enjoy reading about our Project.

Here you are able to know everything about scalevo since we are updating this website every week with new content. If you are from the press, you should visit our press corner, there you can also contact us and get some material for your work.

If you are interested in helping us achieving our goal, give us a call :)