Why the Shabbat Amigo was created
Orthodox Jewish Law states that one cannot perform work on the Shabbat. This also is to include the use of electricity. The use of electricity is prohibited because it serves the same function as fire or some of the other prohibitions, or because it is technically considered to be “fire”.
Zomet Institute was established in 1998 with the mission of addressing problems of Halacha and technology, Torah and Science, and Judaism and Modern Society. Their goal is to operate at the junction of Halacha and modern society. With these laws in place it is clear that people of this faith who have walking limitations will now be able to go to Synagogue on the Shabbat, thanks to the partnership of The Zomet Institute and Amigo Mobility International.
Why is the Shabbat Allowed?
Jewish law also states that indirect actions are acceptable. That is the theory behind the Shabbat scooter model. Each Shabbat Amigo Scooter is inspected by a representative of the Zomet Institute. It is then labeled and shipped out certified by Zomet.
“When you put the Amigo in to Shabbat mode, it connects to a separate circuit board (this is the Shabbat module). The Shabbat Module has a timing circuit that takes about 7 to 11 seconds and then makes the Amigo start moving on its own very slowly: there is no throttle lever activation required by the rider. This is considered an “indirect action”. When the driver is in Shabbat mode he/she can pull the lever to go faster. Because the motor relay circuit was changed by the Shabbat module, increasing or decreasing voltage to the motor by the throttle lever to make it go faster or slower is not considered a violation of the Shabbat principle. The Shabbat scooter module is used for turning the scooter on or off and for changing direction. If the user wants to go in reverse, they push a directional button, which causes the Shabbat scooter to go through its timing cycle again before it automatically changes the motor relay.”
-Mike LaBrake, Amigo Mobility International