Innovation Showcase: Adventure Mobility

Adventure Mobility is the brainchild of father and son, Phil and Rod Pugh, as a means of providing a better quality of life to their family member Tom; a quadriplegic who relies on his wheelchair. All-terrain wheelchairs are prohibitively expensive, so they've innovated a solution which they're bringing to the Venturefest North East Innovation Showcase.

Describe your business in no more than 100 words
At Adventure Mobility we have set out on a mission to help bring people with physical and special needs closer to nature. We have developed a wheelchair sub-base that enables the users own standard or bespoke wheelchair to be used on sand, snow, gravel and rough ground.

  • NOMAD Tundra (for standard wheelchairs,) suitable for users with good core body strength.
  • NOMAD Desert (ideal for bespoke wheelchairs).  
    • Both are easy to assemble, light weight and can be taken apart easily and packed away for easy storage.

      There's an adventurer in all of us, we want to enable everyone to find it.

      What prompted you to enter the innovation showcase?
      We believe NOMAD can and will bring better access to a wide range of people and as an innovation from the North East, we feel that the Showcase and VentureFest is an ideal platform to show what can be done to help people at affordable prices

      Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with   
      The NOMAD is a carriage sporting large polyurethane balloon wheels that your wheelchair sits on top of allowing you much more manoeuvrability and stability on tough terrain. The NOMAD is constructed of tough steel with durable wheels meaning it'll be able to handle anything you throw at it with minimum maintenance work.

      As much as possible we are trying to make the NOMAD universal. We want anyone to be afforded the freedom of the great outdoors and not be held back by anything, especially not the cost. Saying that, the NOMAD isn't completely universal yet; we are working hard to make that possible. Our aim is that any chair will be able to fit onto the NOMAD.

      This is our first and most unique product. It's a device we feel will really help not only people in wheelchairs but those whom care for and push them around. We have struggled with dragging Tom's wheelchair over sand, snow, gravel, mud and grass for many years; we feel that just because he is unable to easily access these areas doesn't mean that he should be excluded. We are now in a position to do something about it

      How do you encourage innovation in the workplace?
      It’s all about enabling people and empowering them to have passion in what they are doing and wanting to achieve. The impossible is always possible!

      What are the biggest challenges you face when trying to innovate in your business?
      Having sufficient finance to be able to innovate properly and correctly.

      And how is business going for you at the minute?
      Very well, we have been able to bring to market two Nomad models and trial them. The joy for us at Adventure Mobility is to see the faces of both the young and elderly who for the first time in either their lives or many years have been able to put their feet in the sea or access the quiet woodlands around.

      Where do you see your company in five years time?
      Penetrating the UK and selected overseas market bringing access and joy to many many people - including Tom.

      What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
      Despite the issues, the blocks, the intransigence of people - push on, innovate and bring home the dreams that inspire you for those that need that inspiration in their lives as well.