Best in Category - Student Design 2019

Gecko Traxx

Ryan Tilley / Gecko Traxx

Gecko Traxx is a portable and affordable wheelchair accessory that enables off-road access for manual wheelchair users.

A flexible set of tyres which simply wrap around the existing on-road tyres of a manual wheelchair for when challenging terrain is encountered, giving immediate off-road capability. The design of the tyre allows for easy, independent use, providing wheelchair users with an affordable, portable and more spontaneous way to access and enjoy the great outdoors.

Design Excellence

Sand is the most challenging and inaccessible place for a wheelchair user, with only 2 of Australia\'s 10,685 beaches accessible 24/7.  Because of the inherent inaccessibility, many individuals who have a physical disability do not consider the beach or other off-road terrains as a place they can go.

Gecko Traxx provides a very simple, low-cost solution to this problem by creating a retrofit accessory that is portable and enables an everyday wheelchair to go off-road easily and independently.  Gecko Traxx’s eligibility to be funded under an individual’s NDIS plan makes them even more affordable for lower-income groups.

Design Impact

The ability to access environments with Gecko Traxx, which otherwise are inaccessible fosters positive social engagement and inclusion within the wider community.

In addition, there are clear health benefits of being surrounded by nature for both mental and physical wellbeing. Gecko Traxx enables independent access to the natural environment with its ability to be easily fitted without transferring from the wheelchair and its portability.

Limited infrastructure in developing or war-torn countries make it extremely difficult for wheelchair users to be mobile and independent. The impact Gecko Traxx can have for these people through increasing mobility at low-cost is extraordinary.

Design Transformation

Typically, the disability industry and current brands act in a very sterile and medical manner. Many of the current products available do include good design and beautiful aesthetics, with the industry seemingly settling for purely functional, utilitarian products.

Design is at the centre of everything we do. Gecko Traxx is just the first product of a whole range of beautifully-designed outdoor assistive technology products – essentially a fun, exciting outdoor brand for people needing assistive technology. Design is considered in the personification of the experience of the user, the products, the customer service and interaction, even down to packaging and branding.

Design Innovation

Wheelchair tyres become bogged in soft sand due to limited surface area.  Hence, the design challenge was to increase surface area while still staying compact and portable. We were inspired a gecko’s foot, which spreads out in contact with the ground - hence the name ‘Gecko Traxx’.

The unique cross-section is unobtrusive when fitted to the wheelchair and expands, increasing the contact surface area 3x only where needed. It returns to the thin profile allowing for unimpeded use of the push rim and no interference with the wheelchair frame. The simple design is much more affordable than any other solution.

Other Key Features

Another key feature of Gecko Traxx is the user experience of how the product is fitted and used.  No longer is someone required to transfer out of their wheelchair to fit another set of off-road wheels.  By simply rolling into Gecko Traxx tyres, the unique clip mechanism allows them to be fitted while still seated in the chair.

Being manufactured only from polyurethane with no inserts or fillers, it is fully recyclable.  Once the tyres are worn out, they can be shredded and moulded into a brand-new set of tyres, recognising Earth’s need for sustainability and a circular economy.

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