This is the go anywhere, do anything mobility scooter. This is the go anywhere, do anything mobility scooter. This is the go anywhere, do anything mobility scooter. (Photo: Moving Life)

Ingenious collapsible scooter helps the disabled get around

The size of a carry-on suitcase, this new lightweight device offers both mobility and freedom.

For many people with limited ability to walk, lunch at a crowded restaurant can be a daunting proposition. There's the ever-present question of where to store one’s mobility aid, not to mention looks from the other patrons. But the Atto Freedom Scooter from Israeli startup Moving Life seeks to change that.

The Atto scooter folds up into the shape of a carry-on suitcase. It’s designed to be narrow enough to fit through any standard doorway and on escalators, and is easily carried on trains, buses or other public transportation.

"I can say that Atto has changed my life, the quality of my life," said Nirit Fresco, a graphic designer from Israel who has multiple sclerosis. "I can go anywhere."

The device can travel up to 18 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery. It is small enough to be carried on an airplane – it easily fits into the trunk of a car and in the overhead compartment of most large airliners. When necessary, the Atto can also be split into two pieces to fit into even smaller spaces.

The company was founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Nino Ransenberg and Yuval Chomski. Ransenberg suffers from polio and had difficulties when trying to travel with his mobility scooter. Ransenberg’s previous ventures include a number of successful tech businesses.

“We are doing more than creating job opportunities," he said about Moving Life. "We're making the world a better place by offering a mobility vehicle to those who need it, that will not only serve their needs, but guarantees a proud and enjoyable experience."

The Atto has been in beta testing in Israel for the past year and is now available for pre-order in the U.S. with deliveries expected sometime this summer. Chomski, a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said that the "American market encompasses the largest number of orders, therefore U.S. distributors can order larger quantities and reduce prices as a result."

Moving Life is also seeking a medical device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so that the Atto can be purchased at a subsidized rate with customers' health insurance.

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