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Autonomous device providing accessibility to aquatic environments of people with impaired mobility.

Country of Origin: Greece
Reference Number: TOGR20180730001
Publication Date: 30 July 2018

Summary

A Greek engineering SME has developed and patented a device for the safe and autonomous access of people with disabilities to aquatic environments. It is easy to use, requiring no assistance for embarkation and disembarkation of the person who uses it. It can be installed in aquatic environments with different profiles and removed without creating damages to the surrounding environment. The SME is looking for partners to establish commercial agreements in combination with technical assistance.

Description

The Greek engineering SME was established in 2012 and specializes in the developing of products for people with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation over one billion people live with some form of disability. The European Disability Strategy for 2010-2020 stresses the accessibility to services connected with leisure activities for people with disabilities. Nevertheless, until today no global solution has been developed that can provide a person with mobility impairments autonomous access to the sea or other aquatic environments since all available solutions require the help of other assisting persons.

The Greek SME has developed an innovative device which carries the user to aquatic environments (sea, lakes or rivers), providing him or her with complete autonomy. There is no need of any assisting person to enter or exit the water. The device consists of a seat for the transportation of the user, tracks which lead the seat from land to the sea, and a control tower housing the movement mechanism and support equipment. The same autonomous process is available for the person to exit the sea. The system has a remote control which is available to the person using it. The system is already installed in many beaches in Greece with excellent results.

The company is looking for partners from the hotel industry (coastal hotels or other short-stay accommodations) and partners from the public sector (coastal regional authorities, municipalities etc.). The proposed collaboration will be in the form of a commercial agreement combined with technical assistance.The Greek company has the capacity to install the system, train the persons to use it and maintain it. The system has minimal requirements for external intervention.
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Advantages and Innovations

- Autonomy: The device is designed to operate without the assistance of escorts and the disabled person can enter the sea without having to depend on someone for help.
- Easy embarkation from land: The device’s seat is designed in such a way to allow the easy embarkation and disembarkation of the users from or to their wheelchair.
- Easy disembarkation from the sea: The seat is designed in such way that the users do not have to be tied up to be safe and due to buoyancy of the water can easily move onto and away from the seat while in the water.
- Easy to use: Its simple use makes it equally easy to use by both genders, since the device operates via a remote control, and no force is required.
- Adaptable: It can be placed on beaches with different profiles because of its articulated design.
- Eco-friendly: The device is energy self-sufficient by employing a photovoltaic panel and batteries to cover its power demand. With fully charged batteries, the device can operate for 3 days under shade.
- Non-fixed: The device is non-fixed and easily removable without any permanent effect to the environment after its removal.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Stage Of Development Comment

Already installed in tenths of beaches in Greece.

Requested partner

The Greek SME is looking for a partner who will promote and support its products abroad. The distributing company should be able to both promote the products and be responsible for the after sales service. Specifically, the required partner should loook for new clientelle, suppot clients with re-deploying old devices, be responsible for service and provide spare parts. The company sought, should have experience in engineering works or accessibility work or experienced in working with water/marine environments. Additionally, it should have a national or regional distribution network and be fluent in English to facilitate communication with the Greek SME to allow for customised support.

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