The Slovenian company is a family start-up company, which was created from the desire to allow individuals in wheelchairs to ascend stairs. It was established in 2018 after two and a half years of development and testing of climbing helper brake.
The company found a solution in the form of a double-sided, one-way automatic wheelchair brakes, which greatly facilitates the movement of ramps or stairs upwards, by wheelchair users, or their assistants, and even allows complete self-climbing with the wheelchair up the stairs.
The company currently produces two models of brakes. The models differ mainly in the brake wheel and various braking structures. One is a simpler, cheaper version with an aluminium brake wheel and is intended for daily use. The other model is technically more sophisticated, with a brake wheel, with a neoprene fiber reinforced fiberglass, which can be replaced. This model is constructed for demanding users and extreme conditions of use such as rain or snow. The braking effect of this model is the same in wet conditions as the braking effect in dry conditions. Both brake models perform the same functions.
The brake is mounted on a wheelchair using a standard clamp with a standard 19 mm connection. However, due to the different dimensions of wheelchair frames, the brakes are not included. The brakes have several possibilities of dimensional adjustment to different types of wheelchairs. Climbing helper is equally useful also in wheelchairs with electrically driven wheels.
The climbing helper assists in driving the wheelchair up the slope. The user is going up the slope and when stopped the wheelchair will not start to go back down the slope, but when the brake is switched on, it stops without any interference by the user.
Furthermore, when re-starting the wheelchair, the brake assists in driving the wheelchair forward or backward up the slope, it works the same way as a passenger car. When the climbing helper is switched on and the user goes forward up the slope, the climbing helper automatically brakes the wheelchair when the user stops. If the switching lever is moved to the neutral position, the wheelchair will still be braked. When the user starts to go up the slope again, the climbing helper will be automatically released and will remain in neutral, switched off position. Climbing helper automatically enables immediate propulsion, without any interference by the user.
The climbing helper allows disabled persons with active upper bodies to climb the stairs themselves with the wheelchair without the assistance of a companion. The user fastens the wheelchair to his/her person using a belt and is, by using hands, pulled up the stairs. The switched on brake automatically prevents the wheelchair from sliding downwards. This allows for freedom and independence for the user.
The climbing helper was tested at the German wheelchair manufacturer MEYRA testing laboratory, where it has passed all tests and met all their requirements.
The company is looking for manufacturing agreement with partners who could produce the brake parts considering the design plan provided by Slovenian company. The parts are mostly made from inox or aluminium.