In June 2016, we took part in filming for BBC1 East Midlands “Inside Out” series. The programme was broadcast on Monday 13 February at 7.30pm, on BBC1 East Midlands. The programme looked at crowdfunding as a way of bringing new products to market.
Shock-absorbing Loopwheels are the brain-child of Nottinghamshire design engineer Sam Pearce. The film-makers wanted to show how Sam Pearce’s concept of putting suspension inside a wheel led eventually to the manufacture of a product that is now being used on wheelchairs around the world.
The day when Sam had his “Eureka moment” at Eindhoven airport in the Netherlands was re-enacted courtesy of our local airport, Robin Hood near Doncaster. Sam has a few more grey hairs than he had back then, but of course in 2007 he didn’t have a camera crew to hand ready to film the moment. So improvisation was called for!
Happily Sam kept the notebook with his original sketch of his idea of putting springs inside a wheel – drawn at Eindhoven airport in 2007 – and here is that very sketch:
Sam Pearce first drew an idea for a shock-absorbing wheel when he saw a mother hit the front wheels of her child’s push chair into a kerb, causing the child to be jolted. For BBC1’s Inside Out the part of the mother was taken by work experience student Tom Collins. (Just shows how varied a summer job with Loopwheels can be!) Tom also took these photos for us.
Pete Crane was one of the first people in the world to buy loopwheels for his wheelchair. Pete was one of 211 generous people who backed our crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter to help get loopwheels for wheelchairs into production in early 2015.
Pete was kind enough to help us again – on a very wet and cold day last June – by showing off loopwheels for the camera.
Our thanks also go to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Rufford Abbey Country Park, who allowed us to use their cobbled courtyard for filming. It was ideal for showing off how loopwheels make it easier and more comfortable to travel over uneven surfaces.