When you’re at the bar with fellow creatives, ideas for inventions can flow. After four IPAs you think you’re da Vinci. But few of us ever see these brew-borne ideas to fruition.
UK-based engineer Charlie Lyons, however, actually did. Years ago Lyons was at a pub with a pal. Said pal’s wife was in a wheelchair, and the difficulties of navigating an urban environment in one were recounted. Lyons cooked up a crazy idea for an invention and built it to see if it would work.
It did. That was back in the mid-’90s, and since that time Lyons’ company, Sesame Access, has been building these:
Here’s how they look in action:
The company has built and installed over 100 such systems, primarily at institutions (universities, museums, government buildings) around the UK. There are limitations to the approach; you can see by the cutaways above how much space and infrastructure are required, and the presumed high cost is what limits the customer base to institutions. But building a business that has been around for 35 years and provides a useful service, all based on an idea borne in a pub, is a damn sight better than most of us have done.
See you folks at the bar tonight?