After a decade of trying to find devices to suit his daughter, David Ingerson started tinkering on a device to help her get more out of life. Years later and David and his team have created the world’s most advanced rehabilitation trike, a beach wheelchair and a host of innovative new products designed from the ground up to provide maximum accessibility at an affordable cost.
And now you get to see the incredible and innovative Getabout Buggy by Tangible Workshop for yourself at Care Expo Brisbane 2023! The buggy is an adaptable, all-terrain wheelchair designed and built on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
Through his words, this narrative serves as a testament to an unwavering commitment to enhancing lives, painting a vivid picture of enduring spirit and determination.
“It all began by the window, overlooking the bus terminal, with a view of the hospital bed where our daughter lay. The therapist delivered the news of a successful operation, to some extent. However, it became clear that her legs required controlled movement, and bike riding therapy was suggested. At the time, it sounded like a simple solution. Little did we know, within a matter of days, we would come to understand that it was far more complex than anticipated. Tara’s leg tone fluctuated, and manual therapy was the only way to address this intricacy. The therapists visited us daily, and their presence became a source of invaluable knowledge during our time of need.
As for me, I found solace in doodling. Not in patterns, but in processes and thoughts. While the therapists explained the problems, I busied myself with finding ways to overcome them. Creating a simple list of requirements allowed me to brainstorm potential solutions. It was even easier for me, an outsider to the profession, to bring fresh perspectives without any preconceived notions.
Over the course of a year, I tirelessly sought a solution. Lunchtimes at the office became opportunities to immerse myself in ideas and see where they led. That was my logical approach. Finally, after twelve months, the first iteration arrived from China – crude and brightly yellow. It wasn’t perfect, but it provided valuable insights into the problems and areas for improvement. However, getting the second generation manufactured proved to be a far more complicated endeavour. Local fabricators showed little interest in the project despite my numerous emails and calls.
After facing numerous dead ends, I stumbled upon a small engineering company in Logan Village. The secretary was unavailable, but the owner, Craig, personally answered my call. When I explained my idea, he insisted I visit their office within half an hour. Craig understood the concept due to his own experiences, and together we embarked on a journey to develop a much more advanced system – the Therapytrike. Our creation even garnered attention from the local newspaper, earning a feature.
We had already made something that suited families and allowed them to go out together, whether it was the beach or the park, where some of the more unusual and complex needs had simple solutions, its modular design making it simple to adapt to the task in hand. However, it did not stop there, we were talking with some groups, and it showed us that many people may have an aid or family member but wanted some autonomy. This allowed us to then look at what we have, and then create some simple adaptions that allowed people to propel it themselves, then it was wheelchair to beach chair transfers- something that is very hard due to the height differences. Existing the lifts required wont work on sand, and their weight being such that if fitted make the beach chair too heavy to work on soft sand. Well, we think we have that sorted with the new lift being only a couple of Kg’s, oh and the water pontoons that just slip into place. You can now sit supported in the buggy, in the water and float.”
See the incredible and innovative Getabout Buggy by Tangible Workshop for yourself at Care Expo Brisbane 2023.