The MIAT Prize 2019


BOOST bridges the gap between manual and fully electric wheelchairs by providing a boost of power when required by the carer. This universal product retrofits to an existing manual wheelchair; providing additional mechanical power through an innovative friction drive system. The product makes many of the key advantages of an electric wheelchair accessible to people who would otherwise be unable to afford it; assisting and improving the mobility of wheelchair users while also helping to reduce the risks of carer injury. It is estimated that there are 1.2 million wheelchair users in England and NHS statistics show that nearly 95% of wheelchairs purchased by the NHS are manual.

Unfortunately, the needs of carers who push these manual wheelchairs are often overlooked and increasing cases of carer injury are being reported. A recent study found that 86% of carers operating manual wheelchairs report physical health problems with, for example, shoulder pain being over four times as common in carers pushing manual chairs than those using electric ones.

Boost, finalist 2018

No existing products resolve the issues mentioned above effectively and affordably in the way that BOOST has the potential to. The unique friction drive mechanism allows the product to be much more compact, and of a considerably lighter weight, than would otherwise be possible. Pairing this with modern Lithium-ion battery technology and compact, powerful brushless outrunner motors allows BOOST to easily outclass any competitors within its price range.

A key advantage of BOOST is that the wheelchair can be folded without removal of the product. Competing products lack this feature and are generally very bulky and heavy using outdated, inefficient technologies. Advanced features including a traction control system and regenerative braking as found on modern electric vehicles help future-proof the product making it stand out from the competition.

Boost, finalist 2018
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