Shared from the 6/25/2019 Preston eEdition

A rollout for all seasons


Duo takes out $20,000 competition for gecko design

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A day trip to the beach is on the cards for wheelchair users thanks to an innovative new product out of Fairfield.

Gecko Traxx is a portable wheel attachment that mimics the foot of the lizard, allowing wheels to roll across terrain such as sand and snow.

Co-founders Ryan Tilley and Huy Nguyen came up with the idea after Mr Nguyen, who uses a wheelchair, needed a way to access the beach.

They looked to nature for inspiration and found ideas in the way a gecko’s foot spreads out when it crawls.

The extra surface area allows geckos, and the wheels, to more easily traverse tough terrain.

“We designed it for sand, which is one of the more challenging terrains wheelchair users would have to push through,” Mr Tilley said.

He said only 31 of the more than 10,000 beaches in Australia were truly accessible by wheelchair.

Users roll into the tyre tracks, which fit into a backpack, and clip them together.

The polyurethane tyres are fully recyclable, have a life cycle of between three to four years, and sell for $599.

Mr Tilley said they were more affordable than other off-road wheels, which cost about $1000, or specialised off-road wheelchairs, which could be more than $5000. And the pair isn’t stopping there, with a goal of creating an entire brand of products to help outdoor accessibility.

“We will become an outdoor brand of assistive technology … which enable anyone with limited mobility to access and enjoy the great outdoors,” Mr Tilley said.

The company took out Darebin Council’s annual Pitch It competition and were awarded $20,000 to further their business idea.

Details: geckotraxx.com

We designed it for sand, which is one of the more challenging terrains
— RYAN TILLEY

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