WL-16 uses 12 actuators to move forwards, backwards and sideways while carrying an adult weighing up to 60 kilograms (130 pounds). The robot can adjust its posture and walk smoothly even if the person it is carrying shifts in the chair. At present it can only step up or down a few millimeters, but the team plans to make it capable of dealing with a normal flight of stairs.However, there are already wheelchairs that can climb stairs. FDA approves wheelchair that climbs stairs:
"I believe this biped robot, which I prefer to call a two-legged walking chair rather than a wheelchair, will eventually enable people to go up and down the stairs," said Atsuo Takanishi, from Waseda University.
Called the iBOT Mobility System, the wheelchair uses sensors and gyroscopes to navigate stairs while balancing on two wheels. Doctors have said the technology is potentially revolutionary. But it is so complex that the FDA decided the wheelchair will require a doctor's prescription and special training to drive. [...]
Most wheelchairs have two big back wheels and two smaller front wheels. The iBOT has four wheels the same size that rotate up and over one another to go up and down steps.