Help Design a Mobility Scooter

Ed Tobias avatar

by Ed Tobias |

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mobility scooter

I’ve been using a mobility scooter for about 10 years.

I use it anytime I need to walk more than about half a city block. I throw it in the back of my SUV, I’ve taken it on planes and cruise ships (I’ve ridden it in 15 or 16 countries), and I even use it to walk the dog.

I have two scooters. One is lightweight at 35 pounds and can be folded. The other is heavier, but it can be separated into four parts. It’s more comfortable than the first and is better on inclines. The lightweight one is twice as fast, and its battery lasts a lot longer. In other words, one size doesn’t always fit all. That’s the point of this column.

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Building the perfect scooter

For the past four years, Emily and Tom Morgan have been trying to design an electric mobility scooter that will do it all. They have two relatives who have MS, and from what they’ve observed, there’s a need for a better scooter.

Tom is a mechanical engineer, and Emily is an information technology specialist. Combining their knowledge with that of friends, some of whom are professional industrial designers and prototypers, they’ve come up with a rough design. But they’d like some input from us — folks with MS who actually ride these things. So, they’ve put together an online survey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete — and I think it’s time well-spent.

If you’d like to help out by providing some input on the design of a new mobility scooter, you can go to the survey here.

Is a scooter right for you?

I’ve heard from a lot of people over the years who never thought they’d use a scooter until they tried one. I was one of them, but I’m sooo glad I bought one. If you’d like to read about some of my scooter experiences you can check out a few columns that I’ve written:

Even if you don’t read my other columns, I suggest you take a few minutes to let your voice be heard by taking the survey. I’m sure Emily and Tom will appreciate it.

You’re invited to follow my personal blog at


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Michael Cavallo avatar

Michael Cavallo

It's all well and good, but did you know that NY Medicare no longer covers scooters? I had to pay out of pocket to get one for my wife a number of years ago. Unconscionable.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Michael,

It's my understanding that Medicare, nationwide, tightened up on mobility scooters several years ago...approving them only if they are needed to move around the house. They won't approve them if you can crawl around the house but you need them to shop or go to work. It's insane.


DeniseL avatar


Same situation in Ontario Canada. ODSP want approve a scooter for "travel" without you being able to use it in your house as well on a daily basis. So if you live in a basement or even in a place with one step, you will automatically be disqualified regardless of your level of crippledness.

DeniseL avatar


Same thing in Toronto Canada but if you were able to Source a scooter of your own volition and money... Crowdsourcing et cetera, then ironically, ODSP (the disability government) WILL pay for upkeep and maintenance of the scooter you were able to get them your own volition. But they won't help you unless you can use it in your house as well as outdoors. This is a money-saving stupid rule because the government knows that they are not giving people enough money to live anywhere but in a basement. If you have stairs in your abode, no matter your level of crippledness, the presence of stairs automatically disqualify you. Disability does not care if you need your scooter to go grocery shopping what did the doctor or God forbid common to have a life.

Steve Danielson avatar

Steve Danielson

I wish that you would do surveys like this for power wheelchairs, hospital beds, etc.

Debbie avatar



Could you please let me know the brand of your smaller scooter? Have a wonderful day.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Debbie,

My smaller scooter is a TravelScoot, which is only sold online. You can read more about how I use my scooters by clicking on the links to the three columns that I included at the end of today's post.


Wayne Blevins avatar

Wayne Blevins

I also have two scooters; one ( the newer one) I leave in my truck, the other I use around the house and property. They are identical except for age.

Dottie avatar


I have one and love it. The but is I wish the seat was adjustable. It is too low then my knees hurts. It is the HS 295. Would like something similar but adjustable seat and maybe longer chassey? But the prices they are pricey.

Triyoga Dharmautami avatar

Triyoga Dharmautami

What about a scooter for a mother with her baby or toddler?
I need such scooter to independently drop and pick up my daughter to her kindergarten. :)

Nancy avatar


I have long legs, so a scoot seat that can be adjusted up to 20" from the ground (or higher for others)is really helpful. I think Dottie had the same issue. Also, I use crutches so I need a good way to store and carry crutches on the scooter. I do not have a scooter now, but I do check one out at places like Costco. IKEA no longer has them so I used a wheelchair, I just need some cycling gloves for hand padding but otherwise - self-propulsion was an excellent workout.


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