A British inventor could be set to revolutionise the lives of the disabled and elderly whose only choice up until now has been to use a walker, wheelchair or mobility scooter with the development of the world’s first UPRIGHT mobility vehicle!
The Rollerscoot is the brainchild of disability mobility pioneer Ian Gray.
Ian, who lives in Devon, qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1990 and has spent 25 years working with disabilities and creating inventions to improve the quality of life of those with limited mobility.
His latest invention, the RollerScoot, uses a genius design which enables even those who can barely walk to lean into the device, taking much of the weight from their legs.
The space-age-looking machine – which weighs just 26kg – uses dual motors powered by lightweight Lithium-ion batteries, giving it a range of up to 12 miles and a top speed of 4pmh.
“The frame and chassis are made from aluminium, making it very lightweight at under 26kg, although it can easily be folded or split into three pieces, for example for transporting in the car boot.
The direction and speed are controlled by a simple-to-use joystick so there is no need to turn the body or arms, and it has automatic braking. With its twin motors, it is able to turn on the spot.
A built-in support allows the user to gently lean against it, keeping the legs straight and taking a lot of the person’s weight.
It’s so impressive that it scooped New Product of the Year Award at the UK’s largest disability equipment exhibition Naidex at the NEC, in Birmingham. It was also awarded ‘Best in Show’ by top disability magazine, Able.
The 53-year-old conceived his latest invention five years ago as he travelled on an escalator.
He said: “The RollerScoot idea is my biggest invention project to date, it was initially conceived about five years ago and began with what I can only describe as a Eureka moment, a moment of inspiration.
“One day I was on an escalator in a supermarket and when I got to the top I was thinking it would be a great idea to be able to continue round the shop on a sort of moving floor.
“Being in the mobility business, I related this to a scooter or electric wheelchair and thought that one of these at the top of the stairs would be a really good idea.
“It was then that I imagined a kind of ‘hover scooter’ buzzing around but I also imagined this to be whilst the person was upright – just like everybody else.”
So far the UK patent been granted and the European and US patents are being processed.
Ian, who also owns Torbay Mobility, -a mobility centre in Devon, said: “The RollerScoot is ideal for people who can stand using the RollerScoot’s supports but who are unable to walk too far, for example because they are in pain due to conditions such as arthritis or spinal problems.
“It is also suitable for those who have low energy or balance problems such as those with MS or have had a stroke, to those who get out of breath easily due to COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart conditions.
“Many people have said that the RollerScoot is just what they have been waiting for as it is modern, with great styling, with a host of benefits and features, and of course allows them to remain in the healthier, interactive upright position – although there is even a built-in seat if you want to have a sit down!
“The RollerScoot allows the user to remain in the healthier, more interactive upright position. University studies have shown that remaining upright more during the day helps with the circulation, digestion, blood pressure and with conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis.
“The RollerScoot is extremely manoeuvrable, lightweight and compact; it can be split into three pieces or folded up and wheeled like a suitcase. There is also a greater sense of well-being. In short, it is more healthy, interactive and user-friendly.”
Ian said he was hopeful the NHS and government would back his invention as a way to combat a host of sitting-related problems.
He said: “I am very hopeful for NHS and government backing. The ‘sitting disease’ is on the increase, as widely reported in the media, and the RollerScoot aims to combat the problem head-on for those who are most vulnerable and at risk – the elderly and disabled.
There is also a place for the RollerScoot in schemes such as Access to Work and Wheelchair Services who can offer a different perspective other than seated mobility.
“My hope is that the RollerScoot, a British invention, is recognised as a major step forward for the future of powered mobility equipment”.