The company behind Loopwheels is growing sales 50% year-on-year in correlation with its expanding dealer network spanning the UK, mainland Europe, Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Africa.
Wife-and-husband design and manufacturing business Jelly Products produces vibration-reducing wheels to make the ride more comfortable for wheelchair-users.
Traditional spokes have been replaced with a new design that integrates suspension into the wheel and makes for a smoother passage over uneven surfaces.
Jelly Products is now manufacturing 100 units per month and steadily growing its network of authorised dealers.
Co-founder and managing director Gemma Pearce said: “Loopwheels reduce vibration by up to 70% compared to a spoked wheel so the amount of vibration transferred into the person in the chair is significantly reduced.
“There is a lot of research to show that ‘whole body vibration’ is associated with fatigue and lower back pain, increased spasticity (muscle contraction), and an increase in pressure sores and has an impact on bladder control.”
The Loopwheel was designed by company founder Sam Pearce, a product designer and mechanical engineer. The spokes have been replaced by a new interior that makes it easier to go over uneven or bumpy ground and removes vibration.
Pearce added: “About 1% of the population in the developed world uses a wheelchair. We have hardly scratched the surface of that market yet.
“People in wheelchairs are living longer and healthier lives, they are more active at home and in the workplace, and some are using electric motors. There is a real need for loopwheels.
“We’re growing rapidly now. We’ve got good distributors in important export markets. We plan to expand into our current market and to look at taking our technology into other areas. This could be for use in other vehicles including for lightweight electric vehicles in our congested cities.”
Loopwheels won a £24,000 Innovate UK grant from the government in 2013. A further £240,000 grant in 2017 allowed them to work with two companies, to further develop the design to go faster and for use off road and on rough terrain.