The shape-shifting, powered standing wheelchair, that elevates your life
Technology – Greece
Laddroller – an innovation that changes lives
Laddroller ameliorates the lives of disabled people and their caregivers, disabled users will access better the labor market, they will save money on home modifications, health systems will reduce their reimbursement costs; and this is only a fraction of the measurable positive impact laddroller creates. We can’t calculate though the impact of a hug, of eye-contact or walking your daughter down the aisle. Laddroller is a life-changing device, capable to promote health, create independency and untethered mobility.
How exactly, a wheelchair could elevate the quality of life of disabled people? That’ s what I’d like to present to you. I’d like to talk about disability and accessibility, the way an invention can change lives and share with you my excitement because, I did manage to create a life‐changing device in a way nobody else have ever thought about before!
I would like to travel you 6 years back, when I met Myriam. She was left paraplegic due to an accident and she hired me to remodel her house. Now, I would like you to imagine yourself as an Architect. Naturally, the first thing that you would have done, would be to lower the light switches, modify the kitchen furniture, make the bathroom accessible; and believe me, I did exactly the very same things. Easy!!
Suddenly, back then, I realized that even if I could change an apartment, even every single apartment on earth, I could not go out and lower the whole world. You probably know yourself a disabled person and you might have noticed how all those people, that live on wheelchairs, struggle to use an ATM, hang out with their friends, order at McDonalds or even continue to be included in the workforce.
What I love and what distinguishes me
I am Architect Dimitrios Petrotos and among other inventions, I am the inventor of laddroller, the shape‐shifting wheelchair. I am an optimist by nature. I like to imagine ways that would help people live a prosperous life and find solutions to help them and their families, enjoy that life. Their everyday life.
I love building things that people all over the world use and I am very lucky to be able to work for a living at what I love doing. I have studied Architecture in Florence, Italy, where I did also my specialization in industrial design and naval architecture. In the recent years, I have been heavily exposed in the fertile start‐up ecosystems of most countries in Europe, Japan, the US on both coasts and the Middle East. I had the honor to participate in some exciting competitions, organized by prestigious academia institutions, like MIT in Cambridge of Massachusetts and ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, but also by corporate giants like Pernod Ricard in Los Angeles and Fenox Ventures in San Francisco. I am lucky to be between the few experts that regularly accompany the Greek authorities, mostly abroad, when the topic regards mobility, accessibility or disability and one of my greatest recent accomplishments was the nomination for the European Innovator of the year 2018.
What I am going to do next is to cover 3 main things:
- the challenges wheelchair users face,
- what benefits my invention can offer, what I have accomplished so far and what my next steps are,
- ask for your support because I am trying to create a huge impact for tens of millions of wheelchairs users, worldwide.
If you look around you, there are innumerous actions in everyday life these people are excluded from, just because they are seated, actions that you and I take for granted. More specifically, if you know better a wheelchair user, then you are certainly aware of the serious health complications they face because of their sedentary life. They suffer from osteoporosis, they have circulation and respiration problems, they even die from heart diseases and infections. For these reasons, they have to regularly attend sessions of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, in order to get the mobility that they need or just to stand up because the human body is designed to do so. On the other hand, motor disability causes psychological side effects. These people have lost their autonomy, they struggle to socialize and the most important; they have lost eye contact with others.
The innovative about Laddroller
That is why I have built laddroller which is what I call a hybrid of an exoskeleton with a wheelchair, or even better; the shape‐shifting wheelchair. I managed to elevate the user by making use of the motion of the wheels. When the 2 sets of wheels come closer to each other, the whole geometry of the wheelchair changes and the user stands up instantaneously. Laddroller is selectively 4‐wheel drive and thanks to the placement of the bigger wheels in the front, it is able to overcome obstacles like steps, curbs and gaps.
Of course, there are a few similar products in the mobility market but they are very heavy, bulky, complicated and expensive for the medium user and most families cannot afford them. They are not modular and therefor they cannot be transported in the trunk and they are full of intricate and expensive mechanisms that break often. What is really interesting though, is that competitive devices do not deliver all of laddroller’s superb characteristics in one single product and most importantly, a product that could be retailed at half the price, compared to the whole industry.
Laddroller’s intellectual property is fully protected worldwide through a rich intellectual property portfolio and I have arranged preliminary discussion with notified bodies in Europe, Japan and in the US, for approval.
Our goal is to secure the necessary funds, in order to develop the next ten prototypes and perform the obligatory clinical trials by the notified bodies in a series of countries. With our first fundraiser and with your support we will come a little bit closer to production and together we will do it a lot earlier, making the lives of tens of millions a lot better. Way better!!!
Pledge 100 PLC – Your name on the website
We will send you a thank you email, a high definition photograph of laddroller standing wheelchair and we will mention you on our brand-new website section.
Pledge 500 PLC – Your name on the seat
We will send you a thank you email, a high definition photograph of laddroller standing wheelchair, we will mention you on our brand-new website section and we will have your name written on the back of the seat of laddroller standing wheelchair during the 2020 Cybathlon.
Pledge 1.000 PLC – Visit us
We will send you a thank you email, a high definition photograph of laddroller standing wheelchair, we will mention you on our brand-new website section and we will have your name written on the back of the seat of laddroller standing wheelchair during the 2020 Cybathlon. On top of those, you will be invited for a visit in our R&D lab and get full access for a day to test laddroller by yourself.
*Travel arrangements and relative fees are not included
Pledge 10.000 PLC – Be one of the test pilots
Join our team, get full access. You will be one of the test pilots after all!
*Travel arrangements and relative fees are not included
**Anyone can use the laddroller standing wheelchair, even in the demanding environment of a clinical trial setup. The organizers though, impose certain criteria for the participation that could be summarized as follows: “Test pilots with different kinds of spinal cord injuries or any other severe trauma, preventing them from walking can participate in the trials”. Please pledge accordingly and with respect!