From the heart:
Behind every great innovation is a human story waiting to be told. Our designer, Paul Campbell, drew on his father’s experiences in a wheelchair to ensure the Centaur solved all of the problems created by traditional mobility devices.
He saw the emotional impact that these types of mobility aids had on his father, and realised that this needed to change. Nothing makes people feel older than a traditional wheelchair.
The wheelchair hasn’t had an update since it was modernised in the 1950s, and the design has seen little improvement. We knew this needed to change, and we needed to implement modern technology to ensure that the user could access the modern world.
Restoring dignity, and allowing people to see the user instead of the chair, was the overall goal. Ensuring that the mobility aid did not hinder the individual, where traditional aids do. As designers, we want to create positive change. But Paul never imagined that he would draw on his Dad’s (Bill Campbell) experience with a wheelchair to inspire something that will make such a huge difference to our ageing society.
Bill Campbell struggled in restaurants where his wheelchair blocked the aisle. He couldn’t tuck his legs under the table, and felt like he was being looked down on when using a traditional wheelchair. Paul had to implement large scale home improvements such as the widening of doors to ensure his father could live as normal life as possible within the home.
After his Dad died, the penny dropped. The traditional wheelchair ignores the outside world. So instead of changing the world to fit the disabled, we designed something that fits the world, that’s the right proportions and looks premium. Something that spins on a sixpence and fits into the space of a dining room chair.
A fitting tribute to help many other people.
Paul Campbell is design director at Centaur Robotics.
Bill Campbell (left) with his son Paul, design director at Centaur Robotics.
Bill Campbell in his wheelchair
Two Wheels Good
The Centaur At Work. Tight corners, small spaces and self-balancing technology. And see the elevating seat in action.
The Centaur “Freedom to do what you want, when you want.” Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, record-breaking Paralympian, on the Centaur.
Dr Zoe Wyrko, Well-being director at Riverstone (retirement living). “The Centaur: there’s nothing else like it.”
The Centaur Revealed See our mystery driver put the Centaur through its paces at its first public appearance.
Rachel Melsom Adviser on health investments