06/01/2012 12:31 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Cutting-edge chair helps disabled B.C. barber get back to the job

ENDERBY, B.C. - Some cutting-edge innovation has helped an experienced barber get back in the trim in Enderby, B.C.

Sixty-seven-year old Bob Egely has cut hair in the North Okanagan community for 40 years, but he hasn't hauled out the scissors since a medical condition forced the amputation of both his legs, above the knee, two years ago.

The fur began flying again on Thursday, thanks to a team of engineers from the University of Victoria and funding from the B.C. Personal Supports Network.

Engineers have created Betty, a $65,000 lift that attaches to a regular barber chair and allows Egely to raise, lower and circle around his customer like the earth orbits the sun.

The invention means Egely is snipping once again, with 91-year-old John Harrison, a customer for a quarter century, the first to sit in the high-tech chair.

Egely has a few days to get used to the joystick needed to co-ordinate Betty and the customer's chair, because the official reopening of his barber shop isn't planned until June 5. (CKIZ)