Skip to content

Carbon Black: ‘Sexy’ Wheelchair Inventor Secures Funding

January 7, 2019

Same Difference has covered this story over several years. It is one that has always stayed with us, so we are excited to read this update.

A Scottish inventor has secured almost £400,000 in funding for his design for a wheelchair.

Nairn-based Andrew Slorance was paralysed by a spinal injury after falling from a tree when he was 14.

He has developed his wheelchair, which has been designed to be reduce painful vibrations to its users, through his business Phoenix Instinct.

The Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, has awarded the funding.

Mr Slorance, who has spent years working in his design, was one of five finalists to secure prize money. The other winners were from the US, Italy and Japan.

The Scots inventor will use his award to help cover research and development costs.

He said: “I’m so pleased the judges recognised that the wheelchair has proved itself as the most viable mobility device for decades and although it has done well it is now tired and in need of a serious makeover.

“I wanted to show how I think the wheelchair can be evolved while maintaining its core, proven fundamental capabilities that are behind its success as a mobility device.”

Mr Slorance added: “‏I wanted to be part of this challenge because I broke my back when I was 14 which was now 35 years ago.

“By the time I was 16, I’d decided that I would one day design a wheelchair that would change perceptions by using cutting edge materials and styling.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 13, 2019 3:41 pm

    18 July 2012 –
    “The programme sees them encounter manufacturing difficulties…”
    “A prototype is also damaged just hours before its first public unveiling…”

    “The public agency gave the Slorances £49,700 towards its development”

    JUNE 30, 2016 –
    “Andrew Slorance, who was paralysed by a spinal injury when he was 14, launched wheelchair design business Carbon Black almost 10 years ago.”

    “In June last year, investors in the venture terminated his role.”

    “Nairn-based Mr Slorance has now started Phoenix Instinct. Wheelchair luggage is the new business’s first product.”

    “The business said, for legal reasons, it could not comment on Mr Slorance’s departure from Carbon Black.”

    “This month, Mr Slorance won £50,000 from business competition Scottish Edge for his new venture.”

    “He secured £100,000 from the same competition last year but because of what happened at Carbon Black the funding had to be withdrawn.”

    “Entrepreneurial Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have also been providing support to Phoenix Instinct.”


    7 January 2019 –

    “A Scottish inventor has secured almost £400,000 in funding for his design for a wheelchair.”

    “Slorance hopes to produce something that has “never been done before”: an ultra-lightweight wheelchair that uses artificial intelligence to create an “intelligent” centre of gravity, providing a chair that is both stable and easy to self-propel.”
    “This, says Slorance, has never been done before.”

    It’s called a SEGWAY –

    Or a HOVERBOARD (Self-balancing scooter) –

    No total BS about “artificial intelligence” needed… Is it ‘Quantum’ too?

    “The wheelchair companies themselves, it doesn’t look like they are going to do anything like this. They’re going to carry on dishing out the same stuff.”
    So what has this guy been ‘dishing out’???

    “All five of the MUC finalists will receive $500,000 to develop prototypes of their designs, with one of them set to receive another $1,000,000 when the winner of the challenge is announced in Tokyo in September 2020.”

    “Now he and the other four finalists have 18 months to produce a prototype to show to the judges.”

    He’s already had SIX AND A HALF YEARS

    “the standard Carbon Black carries a price tag of £9,950”
    So how much will it cost with a Segway hacked on?

    “The name of his new company – Phoenix Instinct, which sells ultra-manoeuvrable luggage that can be towed by wheelchairs, which he designed himself after launching a
    Kickstarter fundraising campaign” –
    Kerching! –
    “68 backers pledged £21,208 to help bring this project to life.”
    FYI – the wheels are nothing new.
    £299 – £367 for a Ten Quid bag with Ten Quid wheels.

    How Designers Are Failing People With Disabilities –
    “the standard Carbon Black carries a price tag of £9,950;
    all of the optional extras bring the cost to £12,620”

    “He built a career in television, ****editing video**** for Channel 4 News and Sky News, but gave it up to design the wheelchair that would become the Carbon Black, driven by this belief that “wheelchairs could be better” and the feeling that he was “creatively starved” in journalism where the news is “here today and gone tomorrow”.”

    “finding the right people in computer-aided design “who would actually create the design that was in my head”.”

    Never mind the electronics… Can’t even do CAD!



What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: